by Leigh Powers
The file folder in my pool bag was calling my name. I’d played with the kids in the water for a while, but an hour sitting next to the pool and enjoying the sun sounded like a good opportunity to look through the research for my next writing project.
I pulled out my highlighter and kept one eye on the kids as they played water tag and slid down the water slide, patting myself on the back for maximizing my productivity. I made it about a third of the way through the stack before I felt the gentle prompting I’ve learned to recognize as the voice of the Spirit. Pause. Rest. Breathe.
I stopped midsentence and looked around the pool. Really, Lord? Here? The pool was crowded with families. The air was full of cheerful babble and the occasional tweets from the lifeguards’ whistles. It wasn’t the place I would have chosen for a quiet interlude.
The gentle whisper came again like a butterfly-soft caress. Rest. I put the cap on my highlighter and closed the folder, then leaned back against my lounge chair. As I sat quietly, I started to take note of details I hadn’t paid attention to before. Bird song flitted beneath the rise and fall of the conversations around me, and the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle mingled with the sharp smell of the chlorine. A familiar verse came to mind: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:2). I felt God’s presence with me. Those few moments of quiet stillness made my soul feel refreshed and restored.
It made me wonder how many times I miss God’s gentle invitation to rest. Life is full of deadlines, to-do’s, and my Mom’s Taxi Service part-time job. Yet I dare not get so busy in my pursuit of what needs doing that I miss God’s invitation to engage with what is eternal. As our Good Shepherd, God knows the needs of our souls. He guides us to what we need—even when what we need is simply a few moments of rest.
Today, be attentive to God’s gentle promptings. Look out the window. Go for a walk. Simply be. Rest in the power and beauty of God’s presence, and let the Good Shepherd restore your soul.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
About the Author: Leigh Powers is passionate about helping women find hope and healing in God’s word. An author, speaker, pastor’s wife, and mother of three, she loves digging into Scripture and helping others find their places in God’s great story of salvation. Leigh is the author of Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry. You can read more from Leigh at her blog, www.leighpowers.com.