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a031-you-will-keep-in-perfect-peace

Have you seen the commercial about the Calgon bubble bath soap? I’m telling my age now, but there was a TV commercial in the 70’s for bubble bath soap. The ad began with a beautifully put-together woman crying out, “The traffic! The boss! The baby! The dog! CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!”  The commercial then went on to explain the benefits of Calgon bath soap as the once stressed woman sat in her bubble bath all smiles (fully covered of course). At the end, they left you with the tagline, “Calgon. Lose yourself in luxury!”

How nice would it be to forget our stresses and problems, and just luxuriate in the peace and quiet of a bubble bath? Oh, my…that sounds fantastic! How about you?

Let’s face it, most of us just don’t have the time or the “luxury” of resting, much less taking a bubble bath. We go to work, care for the kids, home and dog, try to spend time with our spouse and our friends, go to church-soccer-karate-gymnastics and, IF we are lucky, plan an hour or so at the gym or coffee shop just for ourselves. We have forgotten how to rest. Do we even know how?

I’m not talking about the kind of “rest” where you just sit and veg out in front of the TV while eating bonbons and knitting your millionth scarf. I’m not even talking about the “rest” you do when you spend time reading a book or meet your friend for lunch. I am talking about the kind of rest where you simply do nothing, watch nothing; where you quiet yourself, and you stop striving to accomplish and do. You just be.

The rest I am talking about allows your mind to reflect and think about God. Did you know that God created us for this type of rest? In Psalm 46, we are told to “Be still and know that I am God.” Be… still… Not so easy to do is it? Some things demand our attention; there are responsibilities we must meet, and if we do not take care of them, who will?

Psalm 131:1-3 states, “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”

The Psalmist has acknowledged that there are many things he could concern himself with but that in doing so, it would be prideful. This verse begins with the idea of pride. It gives us a sense of pride to think that people count on us or that we are the only one who can take care of an issue or do a project correctly. This thinking suggests that we are in control.

I wonder how many of us are so caught up in our prideful thoughts that we lose sleep at night or are unable to wind down and quiet our hearts and minds for even 15 minutes to read the Bible, much less pray and sit still before God. While there can be many factors involved in not being able to sleep, is it possible that pride could be a significant reason for why so many find it hard to sleep?

I challenge you this week to set aside 15 to 30 minutes just to quiet your mind and calm your body. Ask God to help you relax and rest. Get comfy, close your eyes, and release all of your concerns and responsibilities to Him. Jesus loves us and cares for us, and we can trust Him with our concerns and our responsibilities. After all, He went to the cross and defeated death so that we could rest in Him.

By Karen Grotler