“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
God encouraged the Israelites with the promise that He would be with them and that He would give them rest. I am convinced that God’s greatest promise to us is the promise of His presence. If we want to live with hearts at rest, our only hope is to stay close to Him.
I know that moments of unrest – overwhelm, fear, confusion, frustration, worry, anger – are inevitable. So I should prepare for them. I need a plan to seek rest in God’s presence. A day to get alone in God’s presence – to be still, pray, journal, listen. That is exactly what my soul craves when unrest enters my heart.
But in the midst of the trench of my daily life, an extended time of solitude seeking rest in God’s presence is a rare luxury. If I am going to be a restful mother, then I need a plan to implement quickly in the midst of my mess.
If you have a relationship with Jesus, then He is always with you. You are always in His presence. His rest is always available. Set your heart on learning to become more aware of His presence. Knowing He is here will bring rest.
God also promises that “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Seek, and you will find. It is a promise.
Here are six quick strategies to seek Him – right here, right now, in the midst of whatever – so you can receive rest in His presence.
1) Magnify God by worshiping through song.
“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together.” – Psalm 34:3
Look at an ant through a magnifying glass, and it will appear bigger. Magnify God by looking at Him through the lens of worship. That’s your magnifying glass. As He becomes bigger in your vision, the problems will become smaller.
2) Reveal God’s Name by looking at your problem.
“The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” – Proverbs 18:10
Yes, look at the problem first. But then, quickly ask how God might reveal Himself in this situation. Which aspect of His Name could He reveal through the problem? Healer? Provider? Prince of Peace? Comforter?
3) Observe God’s presence by thanking Him for the first thing.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 100:4
Very quickly, look at one thing. Consider what about that you can be thankful for. Dirty dishes? Bellies were filled. Craft mess? Kids were curiously creative. Scattered papers? Learning is taking place. Coffee mug? That’s easy. 🙂
4) Uncover God’s image by searching for His reflection.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly.” – I Corinthians 13:12
Now look up again. Who is the first person you see? Yes, unrest often comes in relationship. But remember, God made that person in His image. This is an opportunity to see a reflection of Jesus. What aspect of His image do you see reflected in this person?
5) Hear God’s voice by asking for a quick verse.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Ask God to speak His Word into your heart. Be still for just a minute. Ask Him to speak. The first verse from Scripture that seems to pop into your mind? Trust that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.
6) When all else fails…
Put the children in a safe place – baby in the crib, preschoolers watching tv, older kids to their beds – whatever works.
Then hide in the bathroom. Cry out in desperation, “I can’t do this. Lord, help me!”
“In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help.” – Psalm 18:6
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge.” – Psalm 18:2
Cry out in desperation. Call on Him. Ask for help. He is your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your God. So run to Him for refuge. You can rest safe in His protection.
The point in each of these strategies is to gain awareness that God is already with you. He is waiting to give you rest. You just need to see Him.
So the next time unrest threatens to unravel you, grab one of these quick strategies. Look for Jesus right there with you. Today, you can receive a little bit more of the rest God wants to give you in His presence.