Tag Archives: rest

Guide Dog Tales: Come Close

Come Close

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NKJV

Two of Iva’s many commands are “Come” and “Close”.” “Come is reserved for times when she is off-leash, and I need her to come to me. “Close” is usually used when she is on her leash, and I want to draw her close to my body in order to position her in a “Sit” and “Down” to tuck her out of the way. For instance, I use it while I sit on the bench at Walmart, waiting for my husband. I like to keep her from laying in the busy aisle.

One Sunday, at church, as I headed to the altar, I noticed Iva’s pace was much faster than normal. Normal for church that is. Then I realized why. My pastor was saying, “Come…come.” Iva thought Pastor Ray was calling her to come to him. But Pastor Ray’s invitation was an extension of the authoritative call to repentance from Jesus Christ found in the above verse.

Jesus welcomed all to come to Him, those who labored under sin’s burden. Those who were heavy laden under hundreds of Jewish manmade laws that had been added to the laws of God. Those who were weary from the burdens of life. “Come to Me,” said Jesus, “and I will give you rest.” Rest from sin’s power. Rest from sin’s penalty. Rest from our heavy load. Rest from the burdens of religious leaders.

Do you need His rest today? Most of us live overloaded schedules and find little time for rest. Why is that? Could it be that we haven’t heeded Jesus’ call to come to Him? Are you living a life under the reign of sin? Jesus says, “Come!” Go to Him with a repentant heart.

Maybe like the Jews in Jesus’ day, you have religion, but you don’t have the relationship. Many denominations, churches, and people are still depending on good works. Works won’t get you to heaven, but the rest Jesus offers will.

Perhaps, you have the right relationship with Christ, but the troubles of life weigh you down. Those are the moments when we need to come close. We need to get in the presence of our Father. We cannot burn the candle at both ends and expect the rest Jesus promised when we have little time for Him. Get in the presence of Jesus.

Do we rush to the Lord with heightened expectancy like Iva scurried to Pastor Ray? Do we linger in the presence of the Holy Spirit soaking in His anointing, His blessings, His grace, His peace, and His joy?

Sweet friend, we have to seek the presence Of Jesus if we long for His rest. He desires to help us carry the load, but we must be close enough for Him to do it.

Go to the Lord in prayer. He is calling you. Seek Him, and give Him all those burdens you have tried handling on your own. Give them to the one who cares for you.

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7)

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

Waiting on God’s Guidance

 

WAITING ON GOD’S GUIDANCE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Be still, and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10a

Exhaustion held me hostage. Physically, the insomnia had left me drained. Mentally and emotionally, two distinctly different dilemmas wreaked havoc in my mind.

A family member in a dire situation needed assistance. Should I help? How could I afford to help?

A major project stood at a crossroads. I needed to hear from God on which way to go. I felt trapped in a hallway with many doors, unsure which ones to open.

A dear friend texted me our focal verse.

Be still, and know that I am God; (Psalm 46:10a)

I clung to it like a hidden treasure unearthed. That was exactly what I needed to do.

First, I caught up on my sleep. A clear mind was necessary to hear what God was saying. I continued praying and seeking the Lord to confirm that He wanted me to tackle the project from another approach, almost starting over. Peace settled over me.

A few days later, I helped my family member with a monetary gift. Unsure about how I could make up for this expense, I acted in faith. My word for this year – faith.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God worked both situations together…for good. Because the project met a delay, the funds I had set aside were not needed now. They equaled the amount I gave my loved one. That is so God! He took two unrelated problems and brought about good.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Let’s unpack Psalm 46:10 and understand what it means to “be still.” According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, (www.blueletterbible.com( the word “still” in this particular verse means to “desist from war.” The same word translates differently in other verses, such as “silent” and “rest.”

While I needed the physical rest, I needed the war in my mind to cease. I don’t wait well, especially when I am waiting on God to direct my footsteps.

The battle had to be silenced, so I could reflect on God. God is larger than any problem. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is sovereign. And I want His will and His way.

Sometimes, the doors God opens are the doors I would have closed.

I wouldn’t have made these choices, but because I was still. Because I waited. Because I allowed God to be God, instead of charging ahead. These are the doors He chose, and because it is God’s will, it is also mine.

Friend, do you need to sit quietly, waiting for God to open a door in your hall today? Let the battles hush. And know that He is God.

Lord God, help me focus on You, not the battles swirling around me. Help me make the time to meditate on You, and know that You are God. You are my provider. You are my shield. You are my counselor. I await Your answer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 46.

HIKING THE TRAIL

I know how hard it is to step back and wait on God but memorize this verse. Write it down. Let God guide you into His open doors.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.