The Weekly Breather: Quotidian (everyday, ordinary) Rest

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For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall be your salvation; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.

When I was a girl, Isaiah 30:15b was a common stitch work that adorned walls and swung from stoves stitched on a hand towel. “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

These stitch works were commonly displayed in kitchens and above family tables. The idea speaks to a quality of ordinary life as much as to anything else: quietness, confidence, repentance, rest.

God desires to nourish his children in the same way a family meal sustains every member. It is not the feast or major celebration that is most important. What counts is the countless number of ordinary meals that in themselves are completely unforgettable but which sustain growth, strength, peace and unity.

On those days when sanity seems just beyond our grasp, and unexpected (or expected!) chaos fills us with fear, remember that Jesus is preparing a table of ordinary nourishment for us. Without drama or flair, the ordinary food and drink of the Spirit will give us all we need for the day.

Center

Take a deep breath and allow your body to calm your brain. Scan your body and locate where you are holding stress and allow that place to release. Take another deep breath.

Feast

Consider these scriptures.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wing.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
And you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life.

Psalm 36:8-10

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the Scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now he said this about the Spirit which believers in him were to receiver, for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
John 7:37, 38

But we now have that Spirit!
What you need for today is provided for you: nourishment, strength, and rest.


Marilyn Elliott is a member of Soul Care Collective’s Steering Committee.

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Vice President for Community Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary and has been a church leader in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination since 1979. She has wide pastoral experience in partnership with her husband Steve. Together, they have lead three churches over 31 years, provided missionary member-care and pastoral retreats in Chile, Argentina and Venezuela since l985, and formation teaching during Field Conferences in Eastern Europe and Indonesia.

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