What amazed me the first time I saw an oil refinery up close was the intricate maze of pipes. Besides the complexity of it, one wonders how it can all be maintained safely and still be financially viable.
Proper pressure must be kept in every pipe to ensure that the oil flows at just the right rate—not too fast lest it burst the pipes, and not too slow. The designers were clearly ingenious, and it takes an army of experts to maintain and monitor it all.
I have a six-year-old nephew who loves video games. The other day I was sitting with him while he was playing a racing game on his Wii. The levels were getting progressively more difficult, the speed was faster, and the courses were more hazardous. I could see him becoming more and more stressed—his face was turning red, his hands were getting sweaty, and he couldn’t stay in his seat.
I see your struggles and hear your calls for help. When you feel all alone, I am there. I feel your heartaches, and wait for you to come to Me in prayer. Come into My sanctuary, into that secret place that you and I can share. There I am able to lift the worries, the cares, and the confusion. There I can restore your feeling of purpose and infuse you with strength to go on.
You can hear me banging pots in the kitchen. Slamming doors and rattling glassware, I hastily put away the dishes. Clanging loudly, I slam the iron pot on the stove. Mom is in the kitchen and everyone knows to stay away until I am done.
Oh, how divinely sweet it is to come into the secret of His presence and abide in His pavilion!
—David Brainerd (1718–1747), missionary to the Native Americans
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
I vividly recall the men in our neighborhood gathering every evening after work in a vacant lot next to my house for a game of horseshoes. The pace of life was more relaxed when I was a child. Work was from nine to five, and then it was time to knock off and play horseshoes.
Our jeep bumped along the rugged trail that was going to take us to the main road and back home to Nairobi, after a successful humanitarian aid project in a distant rural area of Kenya. My thoughts were already traveling to the busy week ahead. The next project was around the corner and needed to be planned and organized, and there seemed to be too few hours in the day to get it all done.
One thing that I enjoyed about the years I spent in Japan is how adept the Japanese are at turning everyday activities into art forms. Such routine tasks as making tea, arranging flowers, gardening, and raking rocks have been transformed into cultural and spiritual experiences. I admire how they hold on to and appreciate the beauty of the simple tasks of life.
I have always been a very active person. Ever since I was a teenager, people have told me that “Busy” seems to be my middle name.
After my husband passed away, I started to experience stress. I found myself getting overwhelmed by even small obstacles, and I knew I needed to find strategies to cope with and minimize stress in my life.
“My business is doing well,” a friend recently told me, “but I’m having more trouble with allergies than ever. It seems like when I stress out, they get worse, and I’m wondering if it’s related.”
Being busy is something we can all relate to, yet Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.”1