Delete. Delete. Delete… How in the world had I managed to let so many emails pile up and fill my account?! Sure, I deleted many as a read them, but as they slipped out of sight I soon forgot or was too busy to go back and clear them out. It was so satisfying to finally have them gone and to dump out the trash and spam folders.
Looking through my email, I was reminded of many good things – friends, family, work, church – service given, information and encouragement exchanged. Some things I saved to files on my computer or printed out before deleting them, like family stories or other important events or information. It was good to keep the memories.
There were other things that I’d rather not think about though, like illness or death, finances, missed opportunities, and bad news. Can’t I just delete them and forget them?! … What about those painful time periods in life? It would be great if they had never even occurred! There are other things that I’d like to delete too – like bad habits, thoughtless or poorly timed words or actions, things left undone or forgotten. I don’t like to let others down or cause hurt.
Stress and anxiety can be overwhelming at times, can’t it? Uncertain times can keep us unsettled and trauma and loss bring grief. I am so glad that we can turn everything over to God and to know that He will strengthen and support us. He cares about us and our messes are cleaned and washed through faith in Him. God is our delete button for anxiety and worry (*Psalm 55:22a; 1 Peter 5:7).
It is my hope and prayer that we turn to God for our needed “deletes,” whatever they may be, …making space for peace, forgiveness, or comfort. May we look forward with anticipation!
• Companionship helps us through the darkest valley • Life is made up of rolling hills and craggy peaks • Sometimes the way is sharp and clear • Other times the path is dim and misty • Rising peaks can lift the spirits • Between the mountains there is shelter • The folds of compassion are places of healing • Quiet coves bring refreshment and peace • Obstacles arise under pressure and stress • Daunting tasks can be accomplished one step at a time • Getting away from the chaos can bring clarity • Our Creator’s majesty is reflected in His grand creations
• Who we choose to be is reflected in pools of life • Life is a mixture of many things • This mixture can form mud • Mud may be healing or may clog up the works • Puddles form when too much comes at us at once • Allow times of stillness to wash away stress • Accumulate provisions for times of need • Friendship is like rainwater • Rainwater refreshes after long dry times • We pour ourselves into things we are passionate about • Run splash enjoy life • Joy comes when we take time for small pleasures
• We have many options when tackling a big job • If things become unbalanced, we can tip over • Loads can be eased with the right equipment • Gathering resources first will increase success • When the load is large, work a little at a time • Easing burdens improves the work process • We take on challenges so we can move forward • Dumping anxiety and doubt eases stress • Step-by-step, progress is made • Consider your best path to offer services • Take care of your tools for long and productive use • Thank the One who works along-side you
Blink, flash… rumble-rumble. I paused to watch the display in the night sky. Cool air, smelling of rain, drove away the last of the day’s heat. Watching from a distance provided a larger perspective and I considered the power of the storm and the wideness of the heavens. As the storm drew further away, I drew a deep breath and the rain-washed quiet began to draw from mind and body the day’s lingering roar. It was good to stop and rest.
When I find myself caught up in the rush and stress of life, taking time to pause helps both mentally and physically. Can’t you just imagine that “ahh” as you sink into a favorite chair, slide into bed, or arrive home after a long and busy day?! Wherever our “comfort spot” may be, it is a place to rest our soul and calm our spirit for a time.
When the crowd was pressing around Jesus, he too needed a time of rest. For those who wanted to follow him, Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” * Like us in our daily lives, He too had to seek those special times and places alone and in prayer with his Father, God… places of rest and places where daily needs could be met. The book of Mark tells us that the apostles, the followers or disciples of Jesus, had the same challenge and had to be intentional about taking time to rest. After they had shared with Jesus all that they had been doing and teaching, he reminded them of the importance of ‘stepping out of the stream’ for a while. “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while,” Jesus said, “For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So, they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.” *
I think sometimes we don’t give ourselves permission to step aside and rest. We are driven by so many things… I pray for you “rest stops” along life’s way. Times of comfort with friends and family. Quiet reflection with God who loves you. A welcome place to pause, stretch your legs, and relax before continuing on.
• Roads are paths of decisions • Those decisions lead to many destinations • Consider all that you encounter along the way • Some ways are direct and easy to traverse • Sometimes things ahead are stormy • It’s hard to see beauty when moving through our storms • Potholes and cracks develop from stressful situations • Remembering our origination can help us persevere • Roadside stops are helpful to the traveler • Moving along accustomed routes may give a sense of stability • Sometimes we get stuck or lost and miss the alternate routes • Whether through wilderness or quiet streets… we seek clear ways
• We may become stiff and dry from the rigors of life • The warmth and compassion of others can restore and renew • A friend who listens is like a welcome scrub • Scrubbing helps clear away dirt and accumulated grime • Rinse away stress and fatigue • Rest after a job well done • We can become musty from disuse • Putting your skills to good use is satisfying • A worn cloth is full of memories • Warm companionship and thoughtful service transform