Restlessness

​I’ve talked to hundreds of bereaved people in my life, I guess it’s my job as a pastor. You know its a great privilege to be brought into a family and be allowed to share in their grief.

One thing I’ve noticed that many people seem to have in common is a feeling of restlessness. You don’t notice it the first visit you make, but you do the second visit. The truth is often its difficult to get anyone in. You knock the door no one answers. The car has gone from the driveway. Restlessness has started.

It seems to display itself in so many different ways. I knew a man who thought he was going mad. He would find himself out driving in the car at 2am. He would be up cleaning the house in the wee small hours. He couldn’t settle.

I was able to tell him he wasn’t going mad he was simply grieving. Grief takes many forms. Often we just don’t want to think about what has happened. Keeping on the move kind of shields you from the reality you have to face at home. You know Jesus said some amazing words to people who felt restless. He said, “Come unto me all of you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest”

Rest is such a wonderful experience. It’s not easy carrying a heavy load. The inference is that Jesus knows how to take the weight off the troubled heart. I guess that’s why I suggested finding a place where you can reflect and pray. Such a place can become an important factor in helping to bring about putting your mind at rest.

Setting your mind at rest is not any easy thing to do. One quite obvious way is to start playing music. It quite amazing the calming effect music can have on a restless heart. Getting out and breathing fresh air and doing a bit of walking also helps to balance out this restlessness.

Readings

  • ​God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.

    You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
    True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

    Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
    I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
    Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

    You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
    You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

    Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
    I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

    Psalm 23 (The Message)
    NIV
  • ​Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

    Matthew 11:28-30
    NIV
  • ​A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.

    When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, “So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?”

    1 Kings 19:12-14
    NIV
  • ​Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

    Matthew 6:34
    NIV
  • ​God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.

    I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
    You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
    You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
    I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
    This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!

    Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
    to be out of your sight?
    If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
    If I go underground, you’re there!
    If I flew on morning’s wings
    to the far western horizon,
    You’d find me in a minute—
    you’re already there waiting!
    Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
    At night I’m immersed in the light!”
    It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
    night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.

    Psalm 139
    NIV

Prayers

  • Stop. listen and be

    Lord, keep us from pride in the bustle

    The self-importance of our discipleship

    Self-fulfilment

    Self-centeredness

    Disguised as service

    When we get the opportunity

    To make the choice

    To stop

    To listen

    To be with you

    Let us not be worried and troubled

    By so many things

    When you call us to peace

    Help us to remember

    That this is the peace of your kingdom

    A present reality as well as a future promise

    So be it Lord

    That we will choose the right thing

    That will not be taken from us

    Amen.

  • Heavy Laden

    ​Come to me, says the Lord

    An invitation to remember

    That our rest comes from drawing near to God

    To God’s purpose

    Not drawing back from it

    Come to me all who labour

    And are heavy laden

    It’s an invitation to be self-aware

    To know the need for rest

    To embrace the rest which “I will give you”

    The yoke is a servant road

    Of gentleness and lowliness of heart

    For in service to others

    Is rest for our souls

    The easy yoke and the light burden

    We bless and praise you Lord

    We thank you

    That you guide us in rest

    That you promise us peace

    That you lift our burdens

    And focus our tired minds on you

    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

    and I will give you rest.

    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.

    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  • Enjoying the bounty

    ​God, when we are reduced to basics.

    When all the trappings have been removed from our lives.

    When we feel we’ve hit rock bottom.

    Sometimes we realise that we have enough.

    That we can get by – and more.

    So God, curb our anxiety and our striving.

    And help us relax, trusting that,

    even in the most unexpected places

    and from the least expected sources,

    your blessings come.

    And help us to acknowledge

    that it is only because we are in need

    that we can enjoy the gifts of life

    and wholeness that you shower upon us.

    Give us a new appreciation of all that surrounds us –

    the people, the places.

    And in enjoying the essentials of life that are all around,

    may we enjoy you,

    the giver of all.

    Amen

  • Listen Carefully

    ​So much noise.

    So many demands.

    So many people clamouring for our attention.

    Even when we do escape, the noise persists.

    And to be honest, we’re afraid of silence.

    But God, often, it is in silence that you make your presence felt.

    In silence, that you reveal your plans for us.

    So rid us of our fear.

    Take us far from the noise of everyday life, from the bustle of our bury schedules.

    Encourage us to know comfort in silence.

    To enjoy spending time, quietly, in your presence.

    And, in the silence, may we hear that you make no demands but simply long to enjoy our company.

    Amen

  • Still

    ​My Lord,

    Help me to be still

    on the way to wherever I am headed.

    As life comes and goes,

    as events take their course,

    as tragedy and triumph evolve in equal measure,

    help me to be still in your presence.

    Still to notice you.

    Still to let you minister.

    Still to expect your impact upon me.

    (Silence is kept)

    As life comes and goes,

    As events take their course

    As my mind races and my schedule increases,

    Help me to be still in your presence.

    Still to invite you in.

    Still to discover your peace.

    Still to realise that my business

    Does not always equate to your business

    (Silence is kept)

    As life comes and goes,

    As events take their course,

    As demand after demand comes before me,

    Help me to be still in your presence.

    Still to be; not just to do.

    Still to listen; not just to talk.

    Still to observe; not to be noticed.

    Still to know your heart goes out . . . to me.

    (Silence is kept)

    Still.

    Lord.

    Still.

    Still.

    Still.

    Amen.

  • I can't find peace of mind

    ​Lord,

    Am I right?

    Am I left?

    Am I centred?

    Am I constant?

    Lord,

    Behind my eyes

    A million pictures flash.

    I can never feel settled.

    Should I speak out?

    Should I keep silence?

    My tongue speaks a word

    My mind thinks another

    I’m living through contradictions

    I am full of questions,

    Lord,

    One thing I ask

    Give me one constant thought

    One focus

    One picture

    One task

    One word

    One sound

    Sh…….

    Shalom!

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