RESPITE OF REFRESHMENT
This edition of Oasis of Hope focuses on ways to live well in the midst of stress, anxiety and the strain of difficult times. Using laughter, poetry, and prayer, this compilation of posts offers a respite of refreshment. And through it all is the realization that Jesus is with us.
Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls ~ Matthew 11: 28-29 (CSB)
RESPITE OF REFRESHMENT IN OUR DAILY RHYTHM
What do you think of when you hear the word oasis? My first thought is that of a fertile place in the desert where one can find shade and refreshment, a respite from the heat. But we don’t have to be in a literal desert to need a respite of refreshment. In fact, we all need to include an oasis in the rhythm of our daily lives.
Whether we are caught up in busyness, too much pain or are completely overwhelmed with everything and feel lost, we need a way to relax, refresh and recharge. Where can we find this respite of refreshment, this place of rest, strength and peace? We hope that you will find in this monthly Oasis of Hope just that – a respite of refreshment, a place to find encouragement and a sense of community.
Picture yourself seated by a stream, under a shade tree, maybe with your favorite beverage or snack. Then take a deep breath, relax, and choose an article below that catches your attention. As you read or listen, think of it as a heart to heart visit with the author. Finally, spend some time in prayer asking God to meet your need of rest and refreshment, hope and peace.
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. ~ Psalm 62:5-6 (CSB)
RESPITE OF REFRESHMENT IN COMMUNITY
Join Shelly Esser, as she shares with us how laughter can help in life’s most difficult times. She shows us from her own personal experience the truth of Proverbs 17:22 ~ A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Connect with Karen Fendick, Poetry Coordinator, as she encourages us to picture our anxieties and ask ourselves questions about them. Drawing from her own life she then shows us how to write a poem of our own.
Next, follow Pamela Piquette, Executive Director, as she shares how her diagnosis of anxiety was a surprise to her, though not to her family. She shows us ways anxiety can be disguised and how to recognize healing in plain sight. In her post, she touches on laughter, prayer, and thanksgiving, with a reminder that Jesus is with us.
Finally, sit with Bettie Gilbert, Volunteer Prayer Coordinator, as she shares a story of her anxious thoughts and her struggle to find peace and relief from fears as she lies in bed. She tells how she realizes that Jesus is there waiting for her to come to Him. There she finds respite and peace. Then she leaves us with several prayer prompts to help us find peace as we seek God’s help.
IN THIS ISSUE • FINDING A RESPITE OF REFRESHMENT
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we explore finding a respite of refreshment and peace in the midst of anxiety. Our prayer is to serve you as we provide this oasis each month with heartfelt articles to help meet your need for peace and rest. Maybe one or more will resonate with you. And just maybe, it will help you find ways to enjoy life even when anxiety and stress are your companions.
- Laughter Can Help Heal Life’s Most Difficult Times, by Shelly Esser
- Sudden Peace – Anxious Days on the Edge – Poetry Prompt, by Karen Fendick
- Anxiety and Healing Hidden in Plain Sight, by Pamela Piquette
- Praying for Peace – Prayer Prompt, by Bettie Gilbert
I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but before I knew it we were all erupting in laughter—the deep belly, tears-running-down-your-cheeks kind…Laughter can help in healing. God knew this long before the medical world discovered the incredible benefits to our physical and mental health.
What do you do with anxious thoughts? What do they look like? Is there a picture that forms in your mind? Does it have a color? A texture? What song can you sing to anxiety to slow its rhythm? Let yourself be surprised by the sudden peace that comes as you name your fears.
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Jesus healed many people in various ways during His earthly ministry. But what strikes me is that each time He healed, it was a personal and intimate encounter with the One who truly sees the heart. What if healing isn’t the absence of anxiety, but the Presence of Jesus in my anxiety?
Jesus brings us true peace as we pray to Him. This month we have gathered four prayer prompts, one for each week of the month, with precious Scriptures to lead us into the Lord’s heart of peace. I am going to be pausing with them before I face my night’s darkness again. Will you join me in praying?