This is what the Lord says:

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Jeremiah 6:16

In my first devotion back from vacation, I think it’s only fitting that I talk about rest. That is what I needed—a break. A break from the everyday routine of summer with three kids. A break from cleaning, cooking, and laundry. A break from the routine of my blog.

Our trip to Colorado definitely counted as a break. The beautiful mountains, the dry warmth of the air (as opposed to the humid Midwest), the abundant rainbows after the brief rain showers in the afternoon, all of it put me in a better mood than I’d been in for quite a while.

Then, six short days later, it was over and we started the 13 hour drive back. Halfway through Nebraska, my husband and I noticed an unusual thundercloud. Of course, we’re no stranger to thunderstorms (having lived in the Midwest most of our lives), but this one appeared to have an opaque curtain hung in front of it. Weird.

We couldn’t figure out what it was, but we had to keep going. Highway 80 was the only way back home. Twenty minutes later, we ran smack into the biggest hail storm I’d ever seen. Larger than golf ball (not quite to baseball) sized hail forced us to pull onto the side of the road. We watched in awe as the power of these ice balls rocked our van and caused our windshield to bow with the impacts (thankfully, it didn’t break).

I kept thinking this is exactly what life is like. We get a brief period of rest before the hail storm of troubles try to smash us to pieces. Sometimes the rest period seems too brief, but it’s God’s way of preparing us for the storm to come. And sometimes, we squander our times of rest, filling it with stuff, claiming we’re too busy to slow down.

But we will only find the rest our souls crave when we walk closely with God.

Don’t forsake your rest period today. It’s a God ordained time designed to keep you in prime condition to handle the storms in life. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, even if it’s just a harried prayer, even if it’s just reading a devotion, make time to rest with God today and every day.

Dear Lord, help us to focus on You today. You are not a God of rush and expediency. You are a purposeful, gracious God who desires for us to find rest in the depths of our souls. Help us to use our time to walk in Your ways, so we will give our stress to You and rest in Your caring arms. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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