“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8 NIV
Jesus calls us to rest and to learn from Him and His Way. He set the example for us and provides guidance throughout God’s Word. Trust in Him and come to Him and you will find rest for your soul. Amen.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Monuntain National Park in Colorado)
“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV
What is on your heart and mind? What is it that drains your energy? What worry, concern or circumstance is all consuming in your life? Bring it to God. Open up your communication with the Lord…tell Him what it is…talk to Him about it. Put your trust in Him for every aspect of your life…He is with you and He is for you…even though you have tried to go your own way. Read God’s Word and seek Him…for He is our strength. Amen.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27 NIV
We will not find peace in the things or people of the world…if we do it will be fleeting, a moment in time that will be gone again. God has told us in this world we will have trouble…this means all of us. Just because you don’t see the trouble someone else is experiencing doesn’t mean they have none. Our refuge and the giver of peace that lasts is God. Put your trust in Him every day and you will find peace that surpasses understanding. Amen.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
the godly run to him and are safe.”
Proverbs 18:10 NLT
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9-11 NLT
The answer for everything and anything comes when we turn towards Jesus Christ.
Heart Of Worship by Michael W. Smith
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18:2 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 while driving in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)
“I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”
Job 19:25 NIV
What has happened in the past is done and can’t be changed…we can learn from it…we can change today. Don’t let what has happened be chains around you that you drag with you everywhere you go…Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins and He is our Redeemer…bring your past, your shame and your guilt to the Lord and He will set you free. Amen.
Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.“
John 3:16-17 NIV
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:19-22 NIV
Listening is a skill we all need to use more often and a way of communicating that could get us much closer to peace in our life. If we were better at listening there would be less divorce and broken families…if we were better at listening there would be less violence and crime as hate and anger would not be stirred up so quickly. Listening involves taking time to understand what the other person is saying, it involves empathy. It means not being so quick to respond with your own will and desires as first priority…it takes humility to really listen…it takes a willingness to admit we don’t have all the answers. Think about recent interactions in your life…when are you hearing and when are you listening? I know I can do better. Lastly, communicating with God takes more than just talking, if we are doing all the talking in prayer when do we take the time to listen to Him? May we all be blessed with courage and humility to listen better. Amen.
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Psalm 25:4-5 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
“Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.”
Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV
Keep going…learn from what has happened…know that God is working for good things in all situations…He is with you…it is His plan that is best…there will be plenty of opportunities to go your own way…stay on the path…walk with God. Amen.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota)
“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIRV
Have you had moments like this? “That’s not what I meant”…”I wish they knew me better”…”I don’t feel like I fit in”…”Nobody understands me.” I have been there before. You can be surrounded by people but feel like you are isolated. God knows who you are, He knows what you can do, He knows how you think and He cares for you. If you feel like you are off the rails in your life, it is time to get back to God. He is waiting to hear from you. He is the Creator, the one who formed you and has been right there with you every step of the way in life. Turn towards God. Trust in Him. May you see the blessings from God in your life each day.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:10-14 NIV
Jesus taught us about humility in the bible. We need to remember…it’s not about me first. There is a significant difference between self-care and being self-centered. To be humble takes courage, to admit that we make mistakes and poor choices with an attitude that seeks redemption is a path to peace.
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnestoa)
“The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
He is slow to get angry and full of love.
9 The Lord is good to all.
He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV
No matter what, anything is possible with God. If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him. Confess your sins and make a commitment to change the way you live. If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus. You can read more about him in the book of Acts. If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for just the same. Anything is possible with God. Amen.
“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
8 They will be like a tree planted near water.
It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
It always bears fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIRV
(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)