It’s ironic. As I write this, I’m sitting in O’Hare airport in Chicago. Hardly a place of rest. This airport is one of the busiest in the world. However, I’ve found a quiet little place to write this week’s devotional post. It’s not like I’m going to lie down and take a nap while I’m here. However, I can say with certainty, my soul is at rest.
Early this morning, before I left home, I read Psalm 62. It’s one of my favorites! It begins with the profound words, “Truly my soul finds rest in God” (Psalm 62:1). God Himself is our place of rest. He is the place where rushing, striving, and attempting to do it all stops. When we nestle down in God’s presence we hear Him whisper, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Finding rest in God alone speaks to my soul. It quiets the 10,000 thoughts I usually have per minute. It calms any anxiety I feel when praying over my grandkids. It soothes feelings of being overwhelmed when my to-do list becomes too long.
The prophet Isaiah wrote prophetically, “This is my resting place, let the weary rest” (Isaiah 28:12). The Hebrew word for “rest” that’s used here is very interesting. It’s menuchah (Strong’s #4496). I have studied this word for years because it points to peaceful contentment. It is the same word used in Psalm 23:2 where David writes that God leads him by quiet waters of menuchah – waters of stillness. God Himself is our place of deep abiding peace, quiet and restorative restfulness. His presence is where we find contentment.
Most of us have very full lives. On top of our full schedules, we are constantly bombarded with information at our fingertips through our phones. Is a life of peaceful contentment possible? Yes, I believe it is, but it definitely takes some intentionality.
Here are three practical ways to find that restful contentment:
Hold on to Hope. The Psalmist wrote, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:5). David reminds himself that his hope is squarely set on God. WE know for sure that David dreaded certain things like, for example, when he was being hounded by King Saul because Saul wanted to kill him. Yet, David had learned to manage his thought-life, reminding himself that no matter what happened, his hope was wrapped up in the goodness of God. As you look at the future and your particular situation, you might feel dread. Maybe it’s an upcoming doctor appointment or a challenging season of deadlines and commitments. Maybe it’s a confrontation you know you have to have. Set your thoughts on God as your source of hope. No matter what comes your way, God Himself will be there giving you the grace to continue.
Pour out Your Heart in Prayer. David wrote, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). I am always amazed when I hear people pray who are not being authentic. God invites us to dump all our feelings on Him. Be honest. There’s no hiding in the throne room. I believe our prayer lives are so much more than simply getting what we want from God. Prayer is the greatest stress reliever any of us have. As we process all our feelings before God, His Holy Spirit soothes our souls.
Remember Unfailing Love is Yours. David wrote, “with you, LORD, is unfailing love” (Psalm 62:12). Sometimes, when I’m just a complete mess and my emotions are crumbling, I pause and remind myself God loves me unconditionally even in my messiest moments. He is madly, categorically, in love with me, and nothing I do or don’t do will ever change that.
Friend, if you want to live a life of restful contentment, try reminding yourself every day of these three principles. Ask the Holy Spirit to engrave them on your heart.
Don’t forget to order your copy of Our Father. I am seriously so excited about this study of the Lord’s Prayer. I guarantee that God will meet you in a new way as you dive into the six invitations tucked in this amazing prayer. To pre-order your copy, click here!
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast we’re having a conversation with Tracy Arntzen about how to survive when depression hits your spouse. This is such an important conversation, so I truly hope you’ll join us!