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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Help, I Need Rest !

God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way. ~C.S. Lewis

I love C.S. Lewis—his novels, his essays, and most of all, his wisdom. If only I had even an ounce of that wisdom. But you know, I do … we do.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not (finds no fault in you for asking); and it shall be given you (James 1:5 KJV).

Yes, we are scared, sometimes helpless, angry, confused, overwhelmed, tired, and most of the time we feel alone in this day-to-day task. But there is a plan; there’s always a plan. Read Jeremiah 29, not just the 11th verse (but maybe especially the 11th verse). The whole chapter will give you a glimpse of what a great planner God is. Let Him map out this new journey. He has step-by-step instructions, easy to read and implement.

The starting point on my map came with a big red dot—you are here: Rest! Easier said than done, right? Nonetheless, all I had to do was listen to my own body and mind, both of which were ready to shut down. Rest was elusive, I admit, and finding it was like looking for the train that led to Narnia. Needless to say, I had to somehow find that ticket to rest, or else suffer burn-out.

I look at burn-out as having arrived at the end of our rope. This could mean we’ve taken a wrong turn on the map. Do not fear, though. God can be found at the end of our rope. He will never leave us (dangling at the end of a rope) or forsake us.

A blessing came when I inherited the upstairs master bedroom, as both my parents had to be moved downstairs, no longer able to make the steep trek up the stairs. The room is almost as big as a one-bedroom apartment, complete with a little library just outside the door. Mom and Dad were sort of small-time hoarders. I sighed a lot, blowing away disheveled strands of hair. Clean-up did not agree with my aching bones. But in the quiet of a lonely night, I heard a Still-Small Voice whisper, “Find a livable space for now, and rest.” Great advice, and I took it.

As we begin our voyage through the rough seas of care-giving remember it’s only for a season. If we learn to do it well, even though a few stormy waves will, without warning, crash-land on our boat, our sails will eventually set a straight course. With God as our Captain our thunderous ocean will become a sea of grace and mercy.

For today, the plan is to find rest, not just physical, but mental rest, and definitely emotional rest. Find that “livable space,” breathe in, breathe out … rest. Complete rest is vital if we are to face another day in which we put our own lives aside or at least on pause, in order to care for someone else.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 NIV).



Thinking of the C.S. Lewis quote, let’s allow ourselves to ask exactly what is God trying to teach us? Take things one step at a time, for one, as there are many lessons to learn on this Caregiver’s Journey, and we'll find the hidden treasures along the way. I promise, or rather, He promised. So relax, take a breath, close your eyes if you want. You are not alone. The great I Am is with you. 

He will give you rest—trust in that. And when you can’t stop crying, God wants to wrap His arms around you and say, “You can do it. I Am with you.”  He’s a great tear-catcher, listener, and healer.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28–30)

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy. Give me patience, unconditional love, sympathy, empathy, and understanding. Help me to keep my eyes on You. Please hold me up when it gets too hard to stand. Be my companion, my best friend. I pray these things in the name of my Father (my Creator who knows me by name); and in the name of Jesus (my Redeemer, my Savior); and in the name of the Holy Spirit (my Comforter, my Counselor, my Rest). Amen.



My Beloved Caregiver

Close your eyes for just a minute
And see the ocean blue
Breathe in the air so fresh and calm
Let water spray you through

“Rest” it whispers in your ear
Let peace breathe deep within
As waves of morning sunlight
Caress and kiss your skin

Sit on the beach for just a while
With cobalt skies so near
As mists of grace and mercy
Erase all doubt and fear

Close your eyes for just a minute
And feel My presence too
Breathe in the air so fresh and calm
Let Living Water nourish you

(Copyright, 2018 by Deborah L. Alten)

2 comments:

  1. Awesome reminder & confirmation of God's plan for seasons of life. REST the hardest season for me. But God is my guide in his valley.

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  2. Oh, Tammy ... you do know about those seasons of life, don't you. And you've gone through them with joy and laughter. You truly are an inspiration. Would love to have you as a guest blogger. Just let me know.

    ReplyDelete