A Sacred Pause

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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." Matthew 11:28-29 (NRSV)

Natalie D. Hall lives in Texas. When her children were young, she homeschooled them. Lunchtime was usually her first break of the day. At noon, she gathered everyone to eat, and they held hands to pray. But as Natalie bowed her head and spoke thankful words to God, her mind sprinted ahead: "eat quickly, put away the dishes, ready the afternoon lessons, begin dinner preparations..."

On one especially hectic day, before Natalie prayed she consciously took a slow, deep breath. She relaxed her shoulders. She cleared her head. She prepared her heart to be thankful to God for their food, her children, and all the good in her life. It was a sacred pause to recognize her shortcomings and God's ability to provide. Her needs were many in the middle of a busy day - not only for food, but also energy, patience, and discipline. Most of all, she needed a moment of God's peace before she started her afternoon.

God meets us where we are: overburdened, tired, running on empty. Not only is God the provider of the gift of food at mealtimes; God is also the giver of renewed energy, contentment, and balance for the hours ahead. By quietly entering into God's presence, we offer a moment of gratitude and receive the peace God promises.

Prayer: Dear God, remind us to pause and enter into your presence many times each day. As we offer our gratitude, may we receive the rest and peace you promise, in Jesus' name, amen.

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