by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. Psalm 23:2-3 NASB
Just about every time we come to a stop in traffic, I’ll hear my husband grumble. “Can I just live in a place where there’s not so much traffic and where I’m not so crowded in? Why do I have to sit on the freeways? Where can I get a little open space?”
I can relate to his heart’s cry. I feel it, too – at the end of every week – when that urge returns to get outdoors and walk. To climb a mountain, walk in the grass, breathe deeply of mountain air – all those things I can’t do while I’m living in a fast-growing city in a crowded part of Southern California. Yet, my heart still longs for a “spacious place.”
In Psalm 18, when David cried to the Lord to be rescued from his enemies, he told of God’s thunderous response and then summed it up by saying:
“He brought me out to a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19 NIV).
God rescued David from his enemies by bringing him “out to a spacious place.”
When the enemies of busyness, stress, and fatigue press in – and when I feel the pressure to work harder, run faster, achieve more, only to be exhausted from the endless rat race – it is then that I realize how badly I need my spacious place.
Sometimes our spacious place is a relaxing vacation or some time off from work. Other times our spacious place is a missed opportunity that gives us some down time, a closed door or cancelled trip – which causes us to slow down and rethink where to go next. It could even be a layoff from work, an injury that stops us in our tracks, or an illness that suddenly finds us bedridden.
And sometimes, God allows alone times in our lives as a spacious place to get alone with Him – an open, airy place to meet, hear from Him, talk with Him, and just be with Him.
When we find ourselves in a lonely or frustrating place with not much going on, not many friends around, or not much hope in front of us, God may have just brought us “out to a spacious place” to be with Him. We just need to realize it is our rescue.
Lord, on the days that I feel overwhelmed and pressed in, help me to cry out for my spacious place and make some time to be with You. And on those days when I have not much going on, not much hope in front of me, or no one beside me, remind me of the spacious place You have blessed me with so I can spend some time alone with You.
About the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), When You’re Running on Empty, When God Sees Your Tears, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
Join the conversation: When is the last time God gave you rest? Please share your experience.