slowed: hope for times when you feel sidelined

“Our rest lies in looking to the Lord, not to ourselves.” – Watchman Nee


There have been times when I
wanted to be empowered
and equipped beyond my calling.

In my mind’s eye I have seen
myself doing better and brighter things
by your anointing and grace.

So it challenges and confuses me
when you say: No. Stop. Pause.
Wait. Rest. Not now. Not yet.

Waiting and waiting is hard
on a restless spirit which
longs to just Get On With It!

But to me, and to all whom you
call to come aside and abide,
it is a sacred call to obey.

May I remember this
if my soul resists and my mind
protests it’s ready for more.

Let me bow myself instead
to your greater knowledge
of what I can do for you now.

You alone know how this
life of mine should be shaped
with Holy Spirit’s help.

And only you can grant
all restless, fidgety souls
the ability to lean closer still.

Would you do that here, now,
in times of anxiety or haste,
so we follow your purpose and ways?

Would you help us to see how
moments of silent, small and slow
enable us to learn and grow?
© joylenton

Most of us hate having to slow down, so we either wait until we crash or we keep plodding on until exhaustion or illness forces us to stop and slow down. Then we itch to return to whatever we were engaged in before we paused. Or is that just me?

slowed - tree - branches - leaves - Instead of feeling sidelined quote (C) joylenton

But what if we could look at it differently? Instead of feeling sidelined, we could try to view slowed down time as an invitation to rest and abide with Christ. Maybe God just wants YOU for now, your attentive presence, not what you can do for Him.

Because He values our attention and companionship above our activities and To Do list. Spending quality time with God is never a waste, rather, it’s a way to become refreshed for what lies ahead.

“God’s love is based on nothing, and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure. Were it based on anything we do, and that ‘anything’ were to collapse, then God’s love would crumble as well. But with the God of Jesus no such thing can possibly happen. People who realize this can live freely and to the full.” ― Brennan Manning, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus

slowed - Would you help us to see how quote (C) joylenton

16 thoughts on “slowed: hope for times when you feel sidelined

  1. Oh Joy. Your words and poem are so beautiful. Oh how I recognize that internal struggle to surrender to God’s gifts. Isn’t this so true: “and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure”. Oh LORD help me remember this truth. So thankful for you xxoo

    • Dear Anna, the surrender goes much deeper than we think, doesn’t it? I’ve seen how you have yielded to a long season of pulling back from blogging and online busyness, as you sought to centre your heart more on Jesus. I’m so thankful for your faithful, obedient example.
      My own seven months of doing the same was far from easy. God asks for our everything so that He can be and give us His so much more than we could ask or imagine. Pure gift. Pure grace… Yet still we resist because we cling too tightly to what we perceive is ours. I’m often so slow at surrendering to God’s will and ways but I’ve never regretted it once I have, despite that “internal struggle” you describe. Yes and Amen to your prayer! Oh, Lord, give us strength and greater willingness to put you first! Blessings and love. xoxo 💜

      • “God asks for our everything so that He can be and give us His so much more than we could ask or imagine.” Oh Amen! Yes: it is such pure grace. Praise Him that He knows our hearts so well and filled with compassion keeps pursuing us. I was amazed to discover that in Romans 8:32 and in John 3:16 there is a word in Hebrew that means “each part(s) of a totality” and “one piece at a time”. Literally, it actually looks like He is saying that through His yielding up of His very own Son, every part of us and every part of His Body, piece by piece, is being persuaded to be confident in Him and to possess a life derived and sustained by God. He is working that yielding into every fibre of our being: to believe He actually WANTS to bless us. It’s so hard to comprehend, isn’t it?

        Yes: surrender is NOT easy at all. That time away has varied for me. Once it was more than a year. Other times months. Other times weeks. But you are SO right: we never ever regret surrendering to His loving touch. What we can so easily think is His punishment is in fact His tender compassion and kindness toward us in our deep deep need for what only He can give us. What has helped me so much is understanding the deeper meaning behind the verse on correction. “For whom the LORD loves He proves righteous through correction, as a father corrects the afflicted whom He reconciles to Himself.” Isn’t that beautiful? He is PROVING His Presence in us and lifting off the heavy weight He doesn’t want us carrying.

        I always remember what a HUGE blessing your post on miracles was to me. Seeing the miraculous all around us, even in deep pain, is truly seeing with the heart of Jesus, is seeing with the heart of a child who trusts her Abba Father. That’s a post I would remember on those

      • That’s the key thing, isn’t it, Anna? That we are able to see and receive Jesus in our struggles. Because He is very much with us in the pain we experience, waiting for us to sense His loving, compassionate presence and turn to Him. Have a blessed weekend ahead, dear friend. xo 💜

      • Thank you for sharing your biblical insights, Anna. They add greater meaning and depth to those passages. Amen to this: “Praise Him that He knows our hearts so well and filled with compassion keeps pursuing us.” That holy pursuit lasts a lifetime because God never gives up on us. May our Abba Father give us eyes to see Him, souls that can better sense His presence, and hearts able to respond with eager willingness to be obedient to Him! 😊💜

  2. Good morning Joy, yes! An invitation. He is speaking to me about this. Your poem spoke loudly to me … a sacred obey. Yes no matter what we think or how we plan, it is Him we obey. Praying now He show you how quietness builds strength dear sister. Thank you for your obedience in writing this post. Love in Christ, Julie

    • Good night, Julie! I’m grateful these words have been timely for you today. You’re right, it is a sacred obedience which we can only achieve by God’s power and grace. My mind might recoil at another period of enforced stillness and slowness because I’m struggling to throw off a virus, and fearful of another serious health relapse. Yet my spirit says I should go with the Holy flow which will bring greater rest and peace to body and soul. May He show me “how quietness builds strength” – I love that thought! Thank you, dear friend! Love and blessings to you. xo 💜

  3. This is so beautiful. The poem and your wise thoughts resonated deep inside of me.
    We do need to know when to slow down. What is the rush anyway?
    Life is so beautiful we need to stop and smell the flowers, and to be grateful that they are there.
    Beautiful post Joy.
    Hope you are well.

    • Hello Drew. I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Your own health challenges must have given you pause as well, a needful rest and the hope of fuller recovery to come. Yes, when we do slow down enough we get to better appreciate the small wonders that exist, which we might have missed before when busier with stuff. I certainly noticed that during my seven month absence from online busyness. Now I’m a bit stronger than I was then, but still needing to rest a lot and pace myself carefully. I’m praying for you, my friend, and hoping you will soon be on the mend. It’s good to see you back to blogging again. Yours is a poetic voice that many have missed, including me. May God bless you and reignite your creativity. 😊❤

  4. Dear Joy,
    Oh your words and your heart have touched me so deeply. This stanza is so much the cry of my heart also:

    And only you can grant
    all restless, fidgety souls
    the ability to lean closer still.

    He does have so much of Himself to gift to us that can only come in the quiet and slow places. Thank you for pointing my heart back to Him again and again. Love and hugs to you my heart-sister! Xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, we both struggle in this area, don’t we? Chronic illness feels like a continual, if not daily, surrender sometimes. This slowed down life can look peaceful to others on the outside, yet make us restless and fidgety on the inside. Only God can do such a work in our hearts that we willingly yield to change, and to Him over and over again. The rewards outweigh the risks. Because, as you have reminded me, “He does have so much of Himself to gift to us that can only come in the quiet and slow places.” Amen, my friend, as we’re both learning by experience! Thank you for your thoughtful response. Love and hugs to you too, dear heart-sister! xoxo 💜

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