Tag Archives: holiday

He Restores my Soul

When our daughter was pregnant, I kept noticing pregnant women. They were in all the places I frequented. When I imagined pictures in cloud formations, there were babies, prams, fluffy toys and more pregnant women. I think the Lord has made the brain with a mechanism for focusing our attention on what is relevant at the time.

We are planning to go on holiday for five weeks to escape some of the winter’s cold. We leave on Wednesday. Now it seems like God is talking to me about rest and relaxation. The verse for yesterday was Psalm 23:1. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet water.” (NIV)

That is such a beautiful picture of my Shepherd’s provision. He supplies food, a comfortable place to lie down, peace by quiet, thirst-quenching water for the restoration of my soul.

I paged back in my journal to the beginning. My first entry on 15 December – only about six months ago – was about Psalm 104.

The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.

These verses also speak to me about holidays. We are going away in our motorhome, staying in caravan parks, first at Drakensville, then Scottburgh, then Karridene. From our camping chairs we love seeing the mountains, the trees, and especially the birds. We try to hang a bird-feeder near our camp when we can. At some of the campsites we’ve seen wooly-necked storks and the opportunity of seeing a dassie, or hyrax, is possible. Even the moon, to mark the seasons in a significant part of our holidays. If we have a view over the sea we can sometimes watch a full moon rise and I love watching sunrises and sunsets.

If God can bring to my attention relaxing images when I am about to go on holiday, He can also bring verses of help in time of need, or encouragement when I am down, or faith or strength when I most need them. Truly, the Word of God is alive, meeting my needs and restoring my soul.

My Prayer

Thank You, Lord, that You are my Shepherd and provide everything that I need. Please lead me to a place of rest and quiet and restore my soul. Amen.

Whose flag are you flying?

We are in Port Elizabeth at the moment, spending time with my mother. On Tuesday our grandchildren and their parents joined us. Like all holiday makers who visit the sea, the children wanted to go to the beach, despite windy and cloudy weather. Preparations for the Iron Man Competition, which takes place in Port Elizabeth tomorrow were underway. Areas of the parking were closed off and temporary structures were springing up. The pier was adorned with flags fluttering in the wind.


Clusters of foreigners in wet suits were taking photos, running down to the water or emerging and we saw groups of swimmers training far out to sea. Two approached us and asked whether we would keep an eye on their bags for twenty minutes while they did their swim. They told us they were Austrians. One had participated in another event last year and had so enjoyed South Africa that he had jumped at the chance to come again and take part in the Iron Man, bringing his friend over with him. My husband noted that we hadn’t seen the Austrian flag in the array but they assured us it would be there on the day. They asked if we would be watching but the thought of all the crowds and the road closures and traffic congestion discourages us. Much better watch on TV.

Those athletes are competing for their country. Crowds will judge Austria based on their performance. If they show unsportsmanlike behaviour or dishonesty, they will disgrace their country.

Likewise people are watching us. If we “compete” under the Christian flag, our Saviour and His Kingdom will be judged on our actions.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ( Hebrews 12:1)