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God's Richness: Rest, Respite, and Restoration

In 2017 I officially launched my first retreat as a minister. It started as a three pilot summer series of 1/2 day retreats specifically for caregivers. One of the things I wanted to know was if there were any caregivers out there who yearned to put Christ in the middle of their caregiving experience. The answer I got was a resounding yes! Often feelings of isolation or loneliness become overwhelming in life’s greatest difficulties.

The hardest seasons can come on suddenly

or brew over time; they can look like – the end of a relationship, death of a loved one, becoming a caregiver to an aging parent or sick family member/friend, unexpected life shift, or the end of a career. I learned from those retreats and my own journey that loneliness is one of the most debilitating experiences our country is dealing with today. As an encouragement to caregivers and those feeling alone or isolated today, I offer a little spiritual and scriptural perspective from

“The Good Samaritan”. The 1st sermon I preached from in the retreat series was the Good Samaritan. I truly believe this scripture has tremendous value in how we see each other as friends – caregivers – connected community. Three takeaways for you today are:

1. Check your thirst for the Lord over Religion It was an unlikely, unwelcomed, unacceptable stranger with the sensitivity to the man’s suffering. The religious were indifferent. Thirst for God is the key, not thirst for position or tradition. God moves through the hearts of men/women 2. Respite: Align with Meaningful Connection There is joy and laughter in making friends and becoming connected/reconnected with those of shared experiences. Respiting means pulling away from certain things/people/environments temporarily to lean into a deeper sensitivity to God and ourselves. It also means intentionality pressing into spaces (i.e., people, places, etc.) of alignment and meaningful connections for personal healing and wholeness.

3. Rest and Restore: Clearly the Good Samaritan understood the power of rest and recovery for healing the man’s injuries. Might we need rest and recovery for healing our souls? If we want it, God promises freedom and restoration, but we will not receive it in a hurry. God won’t be pushed into our limited time slots. We conform to Him not Him to us.

The Good Samaritan really does teach us to hold up a mirror - to check in on our own indifference. It encourages us to look for how God may be calling us toward His character each day. It causes a reflection on our sensitivity toward others – especially strangers.

I pray we learn to choose more mirrors than windows this year.

I pray we learn that rest, respite, and restoration are not rewards but the way toward God’s richness



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