Shifts: gaining a new soul perspective

We sense shifts of feelings stirring within, an inner voice speaking to our hearts, signalling a need to pause because we require deep soul refreshment before moving forward again. Can we afford to ignore it and press on regardless?

This isn’t the usual disorientation caused by seasonal change, holidays ending and responsibilities kicking in again. It feels different. God is whispering insistently, calling us to listen with intent as we learn to march to a slower beat.

Yet the tug of busyness (real or perceived) threatens to derail us. Stopping or coming aside seems counter-cultural , especially for those of us who make our home in busy. When I am asked to stop, my heart droops disconsolately like a fragile fuchsia in the breeze.

Rest can feel less like a welcome sign and more of a dismissal. Even as a body signals its need for surrender, a soul can fail to see the necessity to down tools and give attention to its own maintenance.

Shifts

These shifts we sense inside

are but breathings out:

of universal feelings

of life and death

of light and dark

of loss and pain

of pleasure and gain

of love and joy

of listlessness, aimlessness

of gainful employ

We lean into our humanity

and we see its vast sea

unravelling like string

making threads of connection

we cling to as we bob

and sway above the waves

©JoyLenton2016

What we often neglect to note is that we’re being invited, not rejected. We’re being asked to awaken to awe and sense God’s presence in the daily grind.

Shifts - God is in the detail

God is in the detail. He is in the stillness, in quiet, in waiting and solitude Click To Tweet

God is in small and slow and seasons of fallow. He works in and through everything to bring about His purposes on earth. We’re not to fret when others prosper and succeed; we’re to rejoice when they are blessed, even as we are being called to pausing, patience, pulling back and being faithful with our little things.

We are to keep on believing divine timing is the best timing of all, especially when we fail to see the fruit of our labours. To try to abide with restful anticipation,  because God has not and never will abandon us. He simply loves you and me too much to allow us to wear ourselves out.

Let’s aim to be patient as we stay on the sidelines for a while, seeing and appreciating what is in front of us This Day rather than scanning the horizon for better things to come. This is a time to grow strong on the inside, to yield our dreams, hopes and plans into God’s hands.

Let’s try to discern the important from the urgent, to wait as God makes so much more of our desires than we can know from the limited perspective of Now. And when we are refreshed and rested enough He helps us to sense the way ahead, one we might have missed if we’d pushed on regardless.

In being readied for receiving fresh impetus to live and love, for the new things God has prepared for us, we discover how the shifts that slowed us down actually served as teachers enabling us to move ahead.

We sit with shifts inside that are actually bringing us to a deeper place of discovery Click To Tweet

Meanwhile, we may sit with fidgety feelings, with frustration or resignation some days. Maybe we wait with quiet courage, willing our souls to be stilled, leaning on the Lord for all we are worth.

**Friend, as I continue to try to yield to life’s shifts throwing all previous routine out the window for several weeks, I would love to hear how you deal with the unexpected, often unwanted shifts life brings you. Please share in the comments below.**

8 thoughts on “Shifts: gaining a new soul perspective”

  1. Hi Joy,
    There are so many words here that are connecting with me today. This: “Rest can feel less like a welcome sign and more of a dismissal,” hits me on a very deep level that has been hard to admit to myself, and to God. But then this is so encouraging: “we discover how the shifts that slowed us down actually served as teachers enabling us to move ahead.” Thank you for sharing from your heart these words that cause me to be honest with the slow in my own life. –Blessings and Hugs!

    1. Hi Bettie. Those words hit home hard to me, too. We are so inclined to resist rest, especially when it’s our default mode with chronic illness. Though it’s just what we need to recover some strength, learn to listen better to God and to grow in our faith. If we can truly believe God is at work in the quiet and stillness, in seeming obscurity, then maybe we will get less stressed about having to rest – at least I hope so! It’s good to know you have found a few words to help you here, my friend. Thinking of you and praying you can achieve a restful weekend. Blessings and hugs! xo

  2. “We discover how the shifts that slowed us down actually served as teachers enabling us to move ahead.” So true, Joy. We certainly need those quiet times of soul rest. I love the thought that God is always inviting us even when we feel rejected. He always has a welcome sign. And there is such hope in the truth that no matter what God has not and never will abandon or forsake us. Thank you for this encouragement today. Blessings and hugs to you!

    1. Trudy, that holy invitation is ceaseless, remorseless, even. God will stop at nothing to offer us His all. I love how you describe it: “He always has a welcome sign” – oh yes! And we discover how space to pause and breathe can become a gift we unwrap eagerly the more we lean into it. You encourage me every time you stop by. May you be rested and restored in every way before breaking into busy again. Bless you, dear friend. xo

  3. How much these words resonate with me today. I find it so hard to stay still especially when I see others moving forward, being healed, etc. I need that soul rest as well.
    “God is in small and slow and seasons of fallow. He works in and through everything to bring about His purposes on earth. We’re not to fret when others prosper and succeed; we’re to rejoice when they are blessed, even as we are being called to pausing, patience, pulling back and being faithful with our little things.” – I find it so hard at times to rejoice when others prosper and succeed- especially in areas where I want to move forward. I find it hard watching others being healed from ME, even though I am glad for them, there is an inner feeling of jealousy. May God help me to understand his timing is right for each person. May I be faithful in the little things even if that is resting in his presence.
    Thank you again for this encouragement. You are a blessing xx

    1. Oh, Tanya, I get what you’re saying here. It can be so painful to watch while people are healed or ‘succeed’ in every way, to have to stay faithful with our ‘little’ life when others seem to live fuller and healthier lives. I think the deep work God intends to do inside each and every one of us is often best achieved in those who need to sit on the sidelines and be still, who wait and develop godly fruit by pressing into Jesus more than relying on themselves. I’m a slow learner in these things but I do see them in you, my friend. You may not be aware of it, yet you show signs of having a surrendered soul and a loving, giving, open heart to encourage others. And all this despite having a truly challenging, often discouraging life yourself. Weariness, weakness and pain affect our emotions and we long for things to change. Staying put in the midst of problems takes God-given courage and strength. You have that in bucketfuls, and encourage so many people. Hold onto that thought when life gets tough. Praying for you and asking God to bring His peace to bear on any disquiet you may be experiencing. May He fill you with deep holy rest and joy. Bless you. xo

  4. This message is so important especially in this season when everything is gearing up again! In a season when we are called to stillness, we can feel a pressure on us to do and get involved, and be confused by the opportunities coming our way, yet inside God is still telling us it is not our time yet…be still. I’m in that season and, must say, that getting through those pulls and now coming out the other side, I am learning so much and would encourage another not to cave into the pressure, but to stay in the stillness! It really is going to ok (and is okay).

    1. Lynn, I’m so glad you can relate to this. Yes, the “gearing up” seasons are the most challenging to ignore, aren’t they? We get pulled along by a tide of public opinion and expectation (never mind our own inner critic) that can threaten to drown us if we let it. Then it is difficult to answer the lure to rest – to simply be, breathe and receive for a while. Thank you for sharing your wise insights as one who is now coming out the other side of such a season. We need to hear that it’s okay to struggle with this issue and that all will be well in the end if we yield to God’s holy invitation. Have a blessed weekend, my friend! xo

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