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I Need Rest


Gwen Smith

March 21, 2013

Blog, Devotions, Prayer, Worship

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Prayer is a bridge

I spin plates. Not real plates. Metaphorical plates. I spin lots of plates at the same time and I multi-task. This is both a blessing and a curse in my life. Sometimes my attention is divided in too many directions, leaving me harried … while at other times, I’m energized by the amount of things I can get done in a small window of time.  Regardless, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get things done or enough hours in the night to give me complete rest. Can I get a witness?

Being a plate-spinning mom is a challenge. When my kids want me, they don’t like to wait for me to spin three more plates before I answer them or give them my attention. When my daughter Kennedy was a toddler, she figured out a way to stop me mid-task, no matter what I was doing. She would place her chubby little hands on my cheeks, look me in the eye, and demand my full attention. Then she would deliver her message or question to me. I became her captive audience.

Just like Kennedy used to seek my attention, the Spirit of the Lord often speaks a similar message to my heart: Don’t forget about me, Gwen! I know you have a lot going on, but your attention should be mine. I love you. Come sit with me a while.

Life is busy. Each day we have activities, tasks, relationships, and distractions that vie for our time and attention. If we aren’t careful and deliberate, our relationship with God can suffer. The Lord doesn’t want to be an after-thought and He doesn’t want to be penciled in to our schedules. He wants us to prioritize Him. Focus our hearts on Him. Worship Him. Be with Him. Be still before Him. Rest in Him.

What are your priorities? Where does God fit into your schedule? How vital is it to you that you spend one-on-one time with God each day? Are you experiencing the supernatural rest that’s found in His presence?

In Mark 6:30-32, we learn that Jesus and His apostles had been busy working for their heavenly Father. In fact, they had worked with such vigor that they hadn’t even gotten a decent meal in their belly. (Boy, do I know what that’s like… and I bet you do too!) In response, Jesus invited them to get away with Him so they could find some rest and rejuvenation in His presence. He said, Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. (Mark 6:31, NIV) That same invitation is extended to you and me.

God wants you to pause the plate spinning and be His captive audience in this very moment. He wants you to go with Him to a quiet place: to be still, to gaze into His eyes, to worship Him in Spirit and in truth, to be lost in His glory, and found by His grace – to find rest.

I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine His strong yet gentle hands reaching for your cheeks, lifting your chin, and drawing your eyes to His. Fix your soul-gaze on His beautiful, blazing, mercy-filled eyes. Give the Lord your full attention. He will be your rest.

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for all of the times I fail to give You my attention. I shake my head at the very thought that You want to lock gazes with someone like me, yet Scripture clearly tells me that You desire to be sought after and found by me.  I’m here.  You have my full attention, please speak to my heart and help me to be Your captive audience throughout today and everydayIn Jesus’ Name, Amen

I co-wrote a song called “Sacred Place” that is purposed to lead you to His presence.  Please take a moment to listen to “Sacred Place” and personally respond to Him.

RESPONSE TIME: Where does this find you today? Leave a comment below and give me scoop. I love scoop. Feel free to leave a prayer request. Pray for the other posts. Encourage one another!

FOR YOUR REFLECTION: Find a solitary place, grab your Bible and read Psalm 103.

Thanks for doing life with me!


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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/B.OMIDIJI.OLAJIDE Bukkie Precious-Jewl

    Thanks Gwen, for taking me back to throne of worship this morning. Going through ps 103, vs 17 touched me. It’s God mercy and grace that i received for all that I am today . Glory be to His Holy Name… Thanks

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      You are so welcome! Yes… glory be to HIS name!

  • http://www.facebook.com/marianne.hertel Marianne Hertel

    Thank you,Gwen for this timely word! I’ve been missing my alone time with the LORD! Time for me to stop and be still with Jesus!! May your day be blessed!! :)

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Awesome. :) Blessings to you too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.datesman Sue Datesman

    Thank you for this Gwen.I find it so hard to be still before The Lord.My mind goes all over the place. Please pray for me.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Girl… I’m so with you! Distraction is my middle name. A prayer journal helps me. Also writing out my prayers and Scripture. :) Lord, Please help Sue to experience Your rest, renwal and glory as she seeks You. Take her deeper into Your focused love and guide her in her choices and priorities according to Your Word. In Jesus’s name, amen.

  • Eileen

    I don’t get as much time to physically come away and rest as I’d like, but sometimes, fairly often, I can spiritually, mentally get away. If I am doing menial or repetitive work (and anyone who keeps house knows there is plenty of this!) I can let my mind go to Jesus. It can be just in listening to music as I work or in turning the music off for some silent meditation. Had a real blessed (and helpful and convicting) time with Him yesterday while doing spring cleaning. This was actually facilitated by a couple of lines from yesterday’s GiG by Mary Southerland. I can likewise see something on Facebook or something I am reading which sends me to my Bible or prayer for a really good time with the Lord. I also find letting Him speak to me personally when preparing a Sunday school lesson or Bible study is a great way to get in touch. Being sensitive and responsive to the touch of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all my work, being busy but willing to come right away when called, seems to work very well for me.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Love it! Thanks for sharing that, Eileen. :)

  • Michelle

    Here it is…8:43 in the morning. Just spent the night at the emergency room with my son after calling 911 for him. Life has been busy for me also and I know God is calling out to me. But as I sit here and write this….I look to God and beg that my son will continue breathing with ease. He has croup and it is the one thing that sends me into a massive panic as it really does affect his breathing. I look to God and beg that I feel His rest and peace as I have not felt it for so long. This tired, achy body just hurts….so does this weary heart. Right now I am too tired to even focus…I know God understands…

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Oh, friend. I’m sorry. I know that mama ache. Lord, Please give Michelle the rest and peace she’s longing for. Please place Your powerful hand of comfort, love and healing on her sweet son. Give wisdom to the doctors and nurses and help Michelle to be a display of Your hope in the midst of this hard time. In Jesus’s name, amen.

    • Nicole S.

      To my sister Michelle, my son had major respiratory issues when he was young. God is a mighty healer but His healing comes in His time. Stay faithful, stay strong…God has a plan for you and your precious son.

  • Wandee

    Beautiful!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith


  • Kia

    Love it! This is exactly what I needed this morning. Father God please forgive me for the times when I felt that I was too busy to read your word, or to spend time with you. I need you every second, every minute, every hour of the day. Gwen, may God continue to bless you and your ministry.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Thanks, Kia. :) Blessings to you too, friend!

  • Julie Wang Hawkins

    I’m trying to make more time to spend in quietness with God, especially with Easter right around the corner. But it is hard! I have to work on banishing thoughts like things I need to do today. Although I have found that time with God really helps me find peace. I don’t have to do everything or be everywhere, I can just be with God and He actually arranges for a lot of thing to be taken care of! So I’m going to practice this time of sitting at Jesus’ feet as much as I can this week and see the difference that it can make!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Oh, Julie. You are surely in for some sacred blessings, sister!

  • Penny

    Thank You! Gwen , For your witness, your compassion, your voice and your boldness in sharing your faith! I LOVE GIG! Love and Hugs, Penny

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      It is my joy. :) Hugs right back to you, Penny!

  • Nicole S.

    Thank You Gwen! Absolute perfect timing for me. Psalm 103:1…”let all that I am praise the Lord….”. Let every movement I make, each word that leave my lips, every thought I have placed against the truth of the Almighty. He loves me and there is not a single moment in my life that has not been filtered thru His mighty hands! Praise God!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Praise God, indeed!

  • Carlynn

    Your devotions are so on target!! I am a plate spinner too! Even though our children are adults now and have lives and families of their own, there are still things I think I must get done at home. And I teach 2nd grade. So lots of my plate spinning is done at school. It is so helpful to just stop during the day, even for a moment, and talk to God to bless my day with my students, co-workers, and school activities. He is always there!!

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Yes! He surely is always there. I’m with you in the gratitude. :)

  • Desiree

    “I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine His strong yet gentle hands reaching for your cheeks, lifting your chin, and drawing your eyes to His. Fix your soul-gaze on His beautiful, blazing, mercy-filled eyes.” Absolutely, absolutely terrifying. How do I not run?

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      Great question. I suppose the answer is found in His mercy. Grace welcomes us.

  • Lisa

    Thank you, Gwen. Gazing into His eyes as He holds me in His lap in that big old rocker. Your thoughts always bring me back to focus on our Lord. right now I’m in waiting mode for what He has for me and this is the perfect place to be to praise Him.

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      There’s no better place to wait than in His presence. :) Blessings!

  • Sarah Bridgewater

    Gwen, thank you for this GREAT message! God is doing amazing things in my life right now, but He was just speaking to my heart and spirit…don’t forsake Me to do a work for Me! No work for Him can be fruitful without really being intimately connected to Him. I’m thankful your passion is inspiring women of God–you are a great inspiration! ~

    • http://www.gwensmith.net/ Gwen Smith

      You got it! Intimate connection to Christ. That’s it. :)

  • Mariann

    He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. Thank you O my Lord. You are soo wonderful to us.

  • Zee

    Thank you so much for this blog post, in fact all of them speak to me daily and even beyond that. God is really using you through this. Single Christian woman in London.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beverly.bohring Beverly Bohring

    I am in need of prayer in my life right now….it seems as if satan is into all things in my life. My mind is so scattered that I can’t focus on His word. I want to sit in His lap for rest and peace in that rocking chair.

  • Brenda

    Thank you, it’s always evident that when you are hurt…let go and let God. Its not about me…”What should I do?” Be angry and do not sin…But to stop in His presence not worrying about what to do and to be reassured that my God, My Father did not intend for me to be treated with disrespect and painful intent either. I’m not better or bigger than the rest of humanity…if someone tried to hurt me most likely the task was accomplished. Coming into His presence is where I find peace AND He wants to heal the hurt. Thank you for the gentle reminder

  • Carolyn100

    Thank You for this email. Happy a Jesus filled Easter.