SUMMER PSALMS | FOR REST

     
   
Green meadows and peaceful streams in the middle of Nashville looks a lot like a rain shower driving through green rolling hills on some backroad south of town. Take a deep breath and remember what that sweet, rain-soaked air smells like. There’s rest waiting there on the other side of that hill, and oh, don’t we need it? If you live around here, then you’ll know — we need the rain too.
  
There’s nothing better than an old fashioned afternoon southern rain shower — that is, unless you’re unexpectedly stranded outside in it! I was leaving a doctor checkup as gigantic raindrops slapped pavement to the tune of hurricane winds. I waited, umbrella ready. (Lucky find in my purse!) I was going to have to make a run for it eventually. An older couple with a woman in a wheel chair waited with me. I felt terrible for them and wondered how they would get to their car too. Not even a minute later, a nurse pulled up in her SUV to the door and asked the older man if he would like a ride to his car so he could come back for the sweet woman in the wheel chair. I was floored — the kindness of this nurse! She was leaving work and probably exhausted (not to mention she had dodged a few raindrops on the way). But friends, get this — she came back again. Wait, for me? Yes, me! Just as I was getting my umbrella ready to run, her car rounded the corner and she offered me a drive across the parking lot. I couldn’t believe it!
  
On a rainy Wednesday, the Lord showed me this: we need more helpers, and it’s okay (good even!) to accept help when offered. Let's show up and be Jesus’s hands and feet — just like this nurse. Kind, generous, thoughtful to the extra mile, even though she didn’t have to be. She was probably the one in need of rest after a long shift. Now that’s a news story worth sharing over and over again. I don’t know about you, but we need to not only be that person, but to share when we encounter someone else’s kindness. I truly believe it’s contagious — the very best kind. One random act of kindness can truly make someone’s day — but it’s anything but random; it’s the very stuff of everyday miracles — how Jesus works in our midst when we least expect it. Our car ride lasted less than 30 seconds, but it left a refreshing feeling that spilled into the rest of the day, like a much needed afternoon rain. 
  
Resting in the Lord is that way — an afternoon rain we all need (perhaps more than we care to admit some days!) Are you tired today; this peak day before the downward slope to the weekend? Come, rest. He gives us everything we need here and now because He knows what we need in the first place. He provides in unlimited ways — even a car ride on a rainy day. May it be so.
  
Dear Lord, 
In this sweet summer of sunshine, school vacation, traveling fun, would my days be encircled by You. No matter how busy I am, no matter how mundane a moment is, may this summer be marked by renewal only You can give. Thank You for being my Shepherd, gently leading me towards rest. Help me to find green meadows or peaceful streams in my everyday corner; a place my soul may go to be with You daily. Amen.

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