The 3 Practices That Create Space For Peace & Purpose To Grow

“So, this is how God works,” I laughingly say to myself under my breath. I prayed a prayer never realizing where it was going to lead me. I wrote in my journal, “Lord lead me to the place where no restraints can find me—where I learn to embrace all of who you say I am.”

I’ve been pursuing a new lifestyle. A lifestyle I want to teach others. I couldn’t possibly ask you to do something I haven’t first done myself. It began as three values that shape Shine Healing Ministries but now, I realize they have become so much more than that. They are my sustainable rhythms for a life well-lived. Three practice I cannot be without if I desire wholeness, peace, and purpose in my life. They are the rhythms of REST. HEAL. LOVE.

I had just experienced a wonderful rest-filled morning in my place of solitude and silence with the Lord. I was feeling settled, and really good about myself. Then it happened. Like a rushing river of angst. It flooded into my heart space so quickly. Ugliness, I often call it.  It is a feeling like a nagging acquaintance I have to tolerate. For me, it is often comparison, envy or jealousy when another woman is cruising along in the lane I want to be in. Instantly my heart blurts, “It is isn’t fair! What am I not doing for you Lord that she is?”

Obviously, God was answering my prayer. “You want no restraint hum…how about taking a look at this in your heart?” This is the HEAL part of the journey. I think more often than anything else we resist REST because it leads us to places in our hearts we don’t want to face; places and things we have to let go of that are restraining us from being LOVE. Without rhythms of REST & HEAL, we are often unknowingly kept from LOVING as he loves. We are told in John 13 that the indicator, the flashing sign of recognition that proves we are true followers of Christ is the Love we give away. I promise it is there. Written plainly in verse 34, “For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”

So I ask, “Lord, what do you need to speak into my heart about this envy, this ugliness?”  And like a gentle whisper, this thought bubbles up in the quiet where I can hear God’s heart more easily. “I am cheering for you all. I am pursuing every heart to lead them to greatness.” Yeah, yeah I get it, Lord. That makes sense. But I close my journal with still an angst to wrestle with. With questions unsettled in my heart.

That is when I heard it. A skirmish on the front porch. It jolted me right out of my quiet place and out the door I ran to see what was happening. Duke my dog and rascal my raccoon. Yes, I did say raccoon. What can I say we here on the farm we have a heart for all animals and poor little rascal was left all alone and needed a home. Anyway, back to the skirmish. They are 95% of the time, the best of friends. Wrestling and cuddling till their little hearts are content, but add food into the equation and everything changes.

Duke had a full bowl of food behind him, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Rascal’s pile. This is where the oh, God your good, ah-ha moment began. I’m sitting there between them watching this play out and realizing all the while, I’m Duke. I’m stuck looking, wanting, and trying to grab more for myself and forgetting, dismissing, and being blind to this big bowl of provision right behind me.

Peering eyes are always longing to answer the questions, “Will there be enough for me? Does God love me as much as her/him?” Then a thought came to the forefront of my mind, “Do I want to pay the price for what is in her bowl?” Because believe me there is always a cost. We are all starving for something. At one point or another, we have felt life’s sting and we don’t want to feel it again. So we frantically reach out and try to grab what we believe should be ours, and fill the hole in our soul. All the while we are often blind to what we already have or what it cost them to be where they are.

God uses experiences, metaphors to change us, to free us, to get a message through to us if we stop long enough to notice.

That morning sitting between Rascal and Duke making sure they each had their fill, made me stop and asked myself, “Aren’t we all deserving?” We all paid some kinds of price. I realized this must be how God feels at times, stilling between his earthly servants trying to mediate and show us how much he has given each one of us. Lovingly he sits and waits for us to see how much he loves us, how much he is rooting for us both. Providing for us both. Wanting greatness for each of our hearts. He promises to not forget about you and to not forget about me. He promises that in his kingdom no one lacks.

There is enough for us all. And the truth is we’ve all paid a price for the story we are meant to share. Our lives are letters to others that can bring hope at just the right time along someone else’s journey. But the truth is there are places we must stop and reflect on. Rhythms we must incorporate into our lives in order to live a life of love. Are we willing to stop long enough to let God lovingly point out where we are restrained? Rest leads us to places we must confront so that we can heal and live from a place where there is no restraint on how much love we receive and give away!

So I ask you my friends, where are your eyes peering? What is keeping you from seeing what God is trying to give you through rhythms of REST. HEAL. LOVE?

Be Bold ~ Be a Light!