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Last night, I was worried. My wife was volunteering at the Archery tournament our school was hosting, and it began to rain, hard. I usually drive, and I prefer to (it’s not a machismo thing, I just want to protect my family), and so I was a bit of a nervous wreck for a while. Then I prayed, and trusted God to handle it. Last night, I would hear the rain come in hard bouts, almost like a rinse cycle at a car wash, coming down hard upon the roof. This morning, I slept through my alarm, but woke up feeling refreshed, and wondering if it all fit together. The thing is, it did. I stepped out of the house this morning, and the sky, the sunlight, the ground all looked like I felt: refreshed. I needed that sleep like that hard rain was needed to wash out much of the gunk and garbage. And this is what prayer, the word of God, the Gathering together of the saints and rest are supposed to do. Like that hard rain, like that extra sleep, God’s presence, His word, the gathering of His people and true, honest rest refresh one’s spirit. Loved ones, I say all of this because too many of us disregard these mandates. We think we can get by on our own. We work hard, we play hard (calling it rest), we fill our time up with busy work, and then turn around and do it all again the next week, and wonder why we feel so tired and useless. God’s presence, which is in prayer, the reading of the scriptures, gathering with the Church, and rest, refreshes our Spirit. He restores our soul. He clears and cleans us out. So we must trust Him, and set aside our busy-ness and let Him do His work. Coming to Him, you will find rest and refreshment that cannot be found anywhere else. Matthew 11:25-30 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Psalm 4 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 127 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate

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