Sitting on the cabin deck watching the lake roll by and listening to the sound of birds chirping in the trees, I was reminded of Psalm 23. Verses 2-3 say:
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me before quiet
He refreshes my soul.”
As I reflect on these verses, I can’t help but feel a sense of refreshment for my soul.
I grew up making the three-hour trip up north to the cabin on a very regular basis. We would spend weeks at a time during the summer months. We spent time with family, built forts in the woods, swam, fished and so much more. The cabin has been a favorite vacation spot for my family for as long as I can remember.
As I’ve gotten older and the busyness of life has taken over, what used to be weeks at the cabin has turned into couple day stints here and there throughout the year. We now make it up to the cabin only when there’s a lull in events long enough to make the three-hour drive worth it; and these times are few and far between.
One of these times came a few weeks ago over Father’s Day. As I sat on the deck enjoying the beautiful sunshine and cool breeze, I realized the longing that has developed in me over the years to be at the cabin. But why? What is it about the cabin that makes me long to be there?
And then it hit me: rest. At the cabin there’s permission to slow down. Permission to rest. There’s no schedule to keep, no place to be, no check list to get done. I can simply be. I can rest and refresh in a way that I can’t at home.
The same is true when we spend time in the presence of God. God gives us permission to “lie down in green pastures,” as the Psalm says. Permission to just be in His presence. When we slow down and spend time with Him our souls find rest and are refreshed.
I started to realize that life’s busyness often has the same effect on my faith as it does on our trips to the cabin. As life gets busy it can be easy to spend less time in the presence of the Lord. And just like when we can’t make it to the cabin often, I start to notice my soul getting weary and tired when I don’t spend time regularly with the Lord. I feel this sense of longing to spend time in His presence; time resting and refreshing my soul with my Heavenly Father.
The cabin brings physical rest for me. I am able to physically slow down, sleep in and relax with family (that is, if dad doesn’t have a big project for us over the weekend!) In a similar way, spending time with God brings spiritual rest and refreshment to our souls. God wants us to rest in His presence. As Psalm 23 reminds us, the Lord “makes me lie down in green pastures” and “leads me beside quiet waters.” God wants to spend time with me. He wants to slow us down so that He can refresh our soul. He leads us and guides us into times that will help us find spiritual rest.
Matthew 11:29 says, “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.” When we aren’t intentional to slow down and spend time with the Lord, our souls are unable to find rest. It is so easy for our souls to grow weary in this world. All the evil and sin remind our heaven bound souls that this earth is not our home. It can make us weary to watch the events of our day unfolding around us. While the cabin brings physical rest, only Jesus can bring spiritual rest and refreshment.
Physical rest is sometimes needed. After a busy week sometimes we need a day off to physically refresh our bodies. But even more so, we need spiritual refreshment. It doesn’t matter where we are, whether we are at a special vacation spot or at home, when we stop and spend time in the presence of God, He promises to refresh our weary souls.Topics: rest