Welcome to week 5 of Echoes of Grace June Guest Posts. This week my long-time friend Carolyn shares a bit of her struggle with busyness and how God met her in those days. If you’ve ever used the word busy, you’ll want to read her words and share them with your friends.
Hectic, perhaps the best word describing 2017. It began right after the new year. My son’s family’s move to a new home, trips to visit and help elderly family, my 36 year old son-in-law’s stroke with a subsequent trip to Germany to help my daughter, guests to host, our other daughter’s baby delivered by an emergency c-section followed by nine days in neonatal intensive care. Then our Germany family coming home for furlough, more guests, the passing of several dear friends, and the joy of weddings. HECTIC!
All of this in addition to the usual Bible class to teach and other normal family events. I found my self burned out with no time to stop.
My learning curve was high. I felt so overwhelmed. I begged to hear God’s voice in the midst of all of the chaos. So, how to keep going? Where does strength and peace come from in the middle of such a tumultuous time?
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid…”
My journal tells the story of my struggle. In Jeremiah 6:16 The Lord tells his people to “Stand by the road and look, and ask for the ancient paths where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls….” The following phrase gives the response of God’s people. “We will not walk in it.” They refused God’s rest for their souls! That didn’t make sense! Unlike the people listening to Jeremiah, I so wanted rest and I was determined to walk in it.
And so, early every morning I went to my sun room seeking him in the quiet. And two verses became my guide.
“Be still and know that I am God…”
In the Greek the word for be still is rapa meaning to sink or fall, to cease striving and put your hands at your sides, to let go. For me that was quite an effort.
Some days I did better than others.
The other verse was Isaiah 30:15. ‘For thus said the Lord God, The Holy One of Israel, “In returning and in rest you shall be saved. In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But again the verse says of the Lord’s people “But they were unwilling.”
Really? Please, Lord, keep me from being unwilling!
I made it! I’m now in a time when I am able to take a breath. I’m writing these words in Hawaii. I accompanied Gary on a work trip and we are also celebrating our anniversary.
I know, that I know, that I know, that the Lord was with me all the way as
he promised. Even on days I was having difficulty hearing his voice.
Where are you? Are you willing and seeking him in your tumult? He is with you. He will be your strength!
“In the act of sinking into God, of looking up at him
from the depths of our own inadequacy, we begin to know who he is.
In turn, we know who we are as well.”
A Million Little Ways p.79, by Emily P. Freeman
Carolyn Eden lives in Champaign, IL with her professor husband Gary. She loves traveling the world as well as living periodically in Haifa, Israel. She also enjoys teaching the Bible and hospitality, as well as keeping up with her family, including seven grandchildren. She can be found at mtcarmelmoments.blogspot.com.