It’s not often I get the house to myself. Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my family, and my husband is my favorite person to be around. But I recharge in quiet, and other people in the house rarely brings quiet. So when my husband and son decided to spend the day in Atlanta, I was grateful to be able to set the pace for myself. If I’m honest, I craved the time alone. Since the beginning of August my days had been steady, and the evenings equally so. I needed to rest.

 The past six weeks had brought a few transitions in our lives (a new job for me, the start of a ministry school for our church), and I had been searching for a sense of order to my days. I found it especially difficult to find time to go walking. After starting a load of laundry (and drinking my first cup of coffee, of course), I put on my workout clothes, selected a playlist on my phone and set off down the street. Three songs in, I could feel the humidity sticking to my skin, but the sweat and my aching muscles took a backseat to the sense of accomplishment I felt at putting on my shoes instead of going back to bed. I needed to breathe.

Making it to my halfway point of my intended route, I turned and began the trek back home. Any neighbor seeing me would have probably been amused. Trying to make my efforts as productive as possible, I worked out my arm muscles in coordination with my footsteps. I must have been a sight. It’s a wonder I didn’t trip and hit the pavement when I decided to add a little speed to my pace. I’m not the most graceful, or coordinated, individual, so I moving multiple parts of my body requires great concentration. I needed to focus.

Rounding a curve in the road, I continued heading toward home,  and I began to think about what I hoped the day would look like. My brain can be a little bit unpredictable, and my thoughts end up in random places, at times. As way led on to way (thank you, Robert Frost), I soon found myself contemplating my instant pot. The musing wasn’t entirely random as I had been thinking about a recipe I wanted to make. Before long, my musing about food became a meditation about pressure. I needed to reflect.

An obvious truth, I know,  but life has rarely looked as I anticipated it would. Some seasons have been way different than I wanted. On more than one occasion, the unexpected places have been downright painful. But always, there has been a choice--the choice of how I would respond, the choice of what I would believe, the choice of what I would let God do in me. Mature believers don’t rest their hope on Christ because we look for instantaneous answers to our prayers. God works on a timeline far different than ours. But as I continued homeward, I realized how some seasons in our lives are akin to an instant pot. Intense pressure, hidden processes and a quickened pace. The "suddenlies" aren't necessarily pretty, but they can be productive. I needed to hope.

 Proverbs 2:2-5 says, “Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.” I have needed wisdom like I needed oxygen this past year. But I also needed to know that He still saw me. Being with Him is our source of wisdom, our source of hope. Solomon continues in the latter part of verse 7 and verse 8: “He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.” Pressured places will come, but when we hide ourselves in Jesus, trusting that He will accomplish something far greater than what we could have imagined, we find not only quiet places that restore, but also reward.

 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. --Hebrews 11:6


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