“Just Rest”; The 90-Day Devotional Turned Year-          Long Journey

It was late Spring, and I felt God calling me into a time of rest. I had been burning out on too many things I had said “yes” to for various reasons. Life itself was bringing some situations that needed to be more of a priority at the moment, and I was finding myself feeling very weary.

I continued to hear God calling me to rest.

Not long after that, my friend, Melanie Redd, had a devotional published. The title was “Just Rest”. It is a 90 Day devotional journal. It looked perfect for the summer and the rest time God was calling me into.

As I dove into this devotional, I longed to find some relief from this weariness that I felt physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

I had no idea what journey God was about to bring me into and how it would prepare me for the season of life to come.

This devotional is based on the names of God. I had recently begun a study with a younger friend from church. I was beginning to dig a little deeper into God’s names, which would build on this study.

Our God is a big God; learning His names and what they mean helps us to know Him more and go deeper in our relationship with Him.

Each day you have a daily devotion, daily declaration, prayer, and action. You have a good open space to write your answer questions, write some things down, and journal.

Melanie shares snippets of her life with us while giving a beautiful picture of what each name of God looks like in real-time. Her writing is relatable and down to earth, and the book is beautiful.

For much of my life, I have dealt with deep fears and depression. Some seasons have been harder than others. It tends to be worse in seasons of weariness.

When I began this devotional journey, I saw this as a 90-day devotional time with some resting moments. It became a rest-of-the-year devotional, and it morphed into what I call a slow-cooker devotional.

I realized God was not just calling me to rest for a little bit, but He was teaching me how to rest IN Him.

These are two very different things.

He was calling me to deeper rest. A rest that stayed in the midst of life circumstances and battles of depression.

Each devotional was confirmed and backed up with something God had shown me earlier through prayer, another person, or His Word. He was showing me what He wanted to be to me.

Like with the Woman at the Well, He tells me that He is the living water I need to drink from when I am thirsty. I need to put my bucket down deep into the well and bring up that living water that never runs dry. I have to put the bucket in, lower it down and fill it, and do the work of bringing it back up and drinking it.

It is available to me. It always has been in my journey with Jesus. I just haven’t put my bucket down in the well. Instead, I have tried to fill it in other ways, with other things or people.

This past November, my mom passed away. It was a difficult and challenging moment, and I am still processing and beginning to grieve.

Grief is a trigger for depression, at least for me in my family. Through the study of God’s names and this devotional, God prepared me to know how to rest in Him at this time. Instead of going to other things or people, I am putting my bucket in the well, lowering it, and filling it with Him, my living water.

When I recognize I might be doing something else, He is quick to show me and remind me of who He is and who He wants to be for me in this time of grief.

We just celebrated the New Year. It is a great time to begin a new devotional, and I can’t think of a better one to start with now. I encourage you to go to Amazon or any other bookstore and buy a copy of this devotional. I will leave a link for Amazon below.

I am thankful for how God uses our obedience to write words and books, to encourage and edify the body of Christ, and to show more of who He is and who He wants to be to and for us.

He wants you to know Him and learn how to rest in Him, so when the storms around us are raging, His peace and rest remain, and we can keep walking into the seasons of life He calls us to.