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Series of three crosses

Give yourself time to retreat, rest, refresh

Higher Ground: Even at your busiest, find time to rest and connect with those who are important to you.

Matthew 11:28 is a very common passage: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 

It seems we live in a busy world with complicated lives. We push and strive for lots of work and little time for rest. I feel this takes the joy of our lives away. This is certainly the case for farm families who have daily work and stress with the uncertainties of farm life. 

There are busy seasons, slow seasons, weather issues, equipment failures, and on and on. So, how do we react to all of this? I believe we need time for renewal, leisure and rest. But how can we do this best? First off, we need to make it a priority, just like Jesus often did (John 4:6, Mark 4:38, Mark 6:31-32).

My businesses keep me very busy, but I think I've found a solution in my life. Maybe it will work for others. I have carved out a quiet, peaceful spot on the farm — a spot close to a creek where I built a pavilion and fireplace. It's a place where I can go to hear birds singing, water running and deer stopping by to drink. 

It seems there is always a breeze reminding me of the Holy Spirit. It's a spot where the family can come for a picnic and make memories. Here I can sit, talk to the Lord and recharge just as Jesus would do. It's my retreat and place of quiet rest, which tends to draw me closer to the heart of God where my strength is renewed, my mind cleared for the tasks ahead.

Sure, there is a field to be mowed and work to be done. But that can wait for a bit. This is my time. If my Lord can set aside time to refresh, then I can, too. 

It's for our own good to commune with the Lord. It's hard to do with our busy farm lives. There are so many issues pulling us in various directions and not enough hours in a day. Rest in the fact that God knows all about it. 

Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail."  As the song goes, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace." 

So, go retreat, rest, refresh. We will all be better for what lies ahead.

Doug Smith,
Millville, Pa.

Smith is a member of the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Farmers International.

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