“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Rest hours at Greystone are glorious, aren’t they? Where else do we take time in the middle of the day to stop our busy-ness and be quiet? To take just a bit of time to be still, to read or write, to nap? So how do we translate this “soul quiet” to back home? In the midst of school and sports and college applications, is there any way to give our minds and hearts a rest?

The Bible says that we get this soul quiet from Jesus. When all is going crazy around us, he is there with us, teaching us how to lean into him rather than the hectic pace that will always surround us. I used to think that life would slow down after college; then I thought maybe life would feel less full after I found the right job. Now that I’m almost through my 30s, I’m learning that life is never going to feel slow.

In the midst of our busy lives, we have to make choices about how to care for our souls, about how to find that quiet amidst the fast pace of life. By taking time to be honest before God, quieting ourselves enough to think on who we are before him. . . naming our sin, our struggle, our pride. . . we take a step towards that soul quiet. We can’t rush ourselves through this step. We can’t be thoughtful about these things on the run. Rather, we need a bit of space to be still.

This space looks different for everyone, but it does involve effort to find. Quiet, reflective time usually doesn’t automatically pop up in our schedules. We have to set it apart, even if it’s only five minutes.

Once we’re able to slow down enough to be honest before God, our minds begin to calm and we have space to remember who he is. The Bible helps us with this as every line on every page tells of God’s big story and his intimate care for each of us. Thankfully our standing before God isn’t dependent on our effort or ability to quiet ourselves, but we do grow and rest better when we discover who he is.

Psalm 131 says “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother.” This picture of a calm soul offers a glimpse of the peace and refreshment that we receive when we come to Jesus. A weaned child is a child that is calm, no longer frantically looking for milk from her mother, because she has seen how her parents have provided in the past.

In this way, we calm our own souls: Knowing that Jesus is always there, leading us and providing us grace in each step that we take.

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