The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. - Deuteronomy 33:27
Head: We all know how life moves so quickly forward. As I stop at moments during my day and marvel at a memory that was shared or a picture of my children from when they were very little, the swiftness of this life is even more real. Sometimes it moves so quickly we can barely keep up. Except, it seems that when the hard stuff follows us it seems to draw out for what feels like eternity and wear deeply on our patience. When we have burdens on us and heavy weight of life, the trials we face seem to keep us on a slow moving road that will never end. We carry burdens we were never meant to carry and it takes our minds off of the future that God has planned for us. "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 28:11
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" - James 4:14
Heart: There is a picture I love of my son and I. My husband took it right after we came home from the hospital. I hope you have something similar or one you particular love. I am sitting in a white rocker in his bedroom window, wearing a white cotton nightgown and the gentle sun is shining on his little nearly naked body. While the purpose of this image was to help him heal, it was also a reflection of how very delicate that time of life was. He was nestled safely in my arms. I watched him sleep and thought about all the dreams I had for his future and just how perfect he was in that moment. Everyone said to "Treasure this time. He will grow up fast." He certainly did.
While we are bound by space and time, our God is not. He always has been and always will be. Our simple minds can not comprehend our eternity, but our eternity started the moment we accepted Jesus. Our forever began in that moment. For the rest of our eternal life we know we can take refuge in Him and that He is the safest place to be when times are hard. Just like when we can hold our babies while they are infants, before they grow too heavy to carry, God holds us. He keeps us safe our entire lives, we are safe because He holds us and nothing that touches us hasn't already passed through His hands first. There is no force of nature, not tempest, no circumstance that can pull us from His embrace. His protective arms are eternal.
"Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength. It is wisdom to take an occasion furlough. In the long run, we shall do more sometimes by doing less." -Charles Spurgeon
Hands: As we wrap of this week of devotions on rest, reflect why rest is so import when we are undergoing trials. When we are living in constant survival mode we need to take a time-out from the world and take a time-in with our Heavenly Father to focus on Him. Your soul will experience such relief, you will set down burdens you weren't meant to carry, and find peace and rest in His arms. That is when you will hear His voice reminding you how fleeting life is...like a vapor.
Look to Him often, it could be the difference between losing heart in the hard circumstances or finding courage and strength. Let's remember that our Heavenly Father has His everlasting arms open wide to wrap around us, to pick us up, and that He will carry us safely home.
Prayer: Lord Father, thank You for loving me enough. You have thought about me, considered me, and prepared a place for me. Thank You for the trials and hard times that put me through the fire to bring me closer to You, to refine me, and to ultimately bring me joy. I will find joy in this life with each and every trial and hardish You bring me through. Help me to rest and remember that I am already living an eternal life with a final destination You have perfectly prepared. Help me to endure the experiences of this life that will be worth whatever it takes to get there. Thank you that Your everlasting arms are holding me all the way home. In Jesus name. Amen
Here! Hold My Crown! Is a forthcoming devotional for mothers. Written by Aimee Larsen, a mother of 5 children. She walked through having a premie, infertility, miracles, foster care, and adoption.