You might remember at the beginning of November, I took a much-needed break from technology. For a few days, I fasted from using my cell phone; that meant no calling or texting family or friends. It was a “solitary confinement” specifically and lovingly planned by the hand of God through a ministry called Soul Rest.
Rest is high priority with God. He rested after the six days of creation, and on the seventh day, “God had finished all the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2). God has made us to function best with adequate amounts of rest for our body, mind, and soul. God’s plan for me at Soul Rest was for me to hold still long enough for Him to love me. “No eye has seen no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him,” I Corinthians 2:9.
I came to “the sanctuary” of Soul Rest with anxious questions, an over-thinking mind, and an absence of inner peace. At Soul Rest, I had permission to sleep or sit and read, worship, listen, wait, focus on God—what amazing remedy. Within a few hours, it didn’t matter whether or not I received answers to my questions. I had gotten back to basics: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,’“ Matthew 22:37.
Everything goes back to loving and worshipping Jesus. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you,” Isaiah 26:3. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Love God, worship God. For many of us, we must give ourselves permission to turn off our phones and computers. It’s OK to stop. “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10.
Since my time in “the sanctuary” at Soul Rest, in the past three months I’ve faced major life changes: became engaged to my boyfriend, he sold his family home of thirty-two years, he and I bought a new home together, he moved into our new home, I planned our destination wedding and in-town separate wedding reception, we got married, I moved into our new home—yet wonder upon wonder, I can still maintain a sense of ‘centeredness’ on God. No matter what is whirling around me, God’s character quality of immutability is enough to keep me grounded. It’s up to me to grab on to Him to stabilize me in the midst of the myriad and adjustments we have made. I am thankful for the fresh view I received from my time in “the sanctuary.” I am reminded I don’t have to leave my home to find solace. God is right here, waiting for me to turn to Him. He is my Sanctuary.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1–3
May I pray for you?
Dear Father, thank you for your offering of peace. You know we desperately need it. What a wonderful blessing to receive strength from you, Prince of Peace. Lord, thank you for parting the waters for us; help us to pay attention to you and your commands and walk in them. God, we are in need of more of you; let us be centered, focused, with a keen eye and pure heart to love you in a deeper way and serve you completely. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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