Have you ever “run away?’ I mean really, really run away from your life for a few moments or hours? Sometimes I feel that there are so many needs and requirements in my life that I just want to flee.
I know I am not the only one who feels this way. This morning, I read in my Bible study, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert.” -Psalm 55:6-7
The Desert is NOT where I would flee! A plush, lush, poolside room at Hotel Hershey is more my style, but that is a far off dream at this time; although I DO have an envelope with a bit of cash just for such an escape. I add to it a quarter, dollar, or ten dollars when I am able. One day I will sip Hot Cocoa and laze on a comfortable pool chair for hours, idling away the day. But for now, my only escape is to drive separately home from church services on a Wednesday evening, stopping by a pretty park with a nice water fountain and flower display to sit in the car, breathing deeply before heading home to bedtime chaos.
When the pressure becomes tumultuous in life, I sneak away for 10 minutes to pull out my Beach Trip Planning Folder, dreaming of playing on the Beach this coming September when all of the tourists have gone home. We have planned a 3 day trip after public school starts, since we are Home Educated, and can take 2 days for a breather. It is cheaper, less crowded, and more restful for us to vacation in late September. The weather is much like August weather, so we do not suffer with colder days.
But for today, it is May, and my busy summer is stretched before me. We are finishing up the school year, facing evaluations and examinations galore! It could be a stressful time. But I have overcome much of that stress.
How, you may ask?
I have disciplined myself to be still in the storm. I have practiced listening for peace in the chaos.
Amy Carmichael, missionary to India once said, “In acceptance lies peace.” I truly believe that. When I need to feel great peace, I get very still, pray, and listen. Somehow, God ALWAYS makes it clear to me that deep inside of me, below the crashing turmoil and waves of the pressures around me, there lies a PEACE and a Calm to which I can retreat.
This practice did not happen overnight. I had to work at it, day after day, but slowly, it came: the peace that passes all understanding. I was able to retreat and draw from that peace when I lost my first child seventeen years ago. I called on the practice when my husband’s brother died at age 42. When my Retina detached because of a hemorrhage, I went to that calming, quiet place in my heart as I waited most of the night in the ER, completely blind in my left eye.
Can you hear that still, small voice of Jesus in the hard times? When I am completely still, and truly listening, I can hear the voice through scripture, whispering to me, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28
He offers the same thing to all people. I hope that you will run to God for rest the next time you feel overwhelmed or in need of an escape. He has never let me down when I asked for renewal of spirit, or restoration.
When have YOU wanted to “fly away” or “be at Rest?” What did you do to handle those feelings of deep need? I would LOVE to hear about readers’ favorite kinds of retreats in the comments below!
Have a beautiful Thursday, my friends,
From the Blue Willow Cottage,