Blanket in the Shade – Janet Eriksson

Bible Verse

“The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” — Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV)

Reflection

I was exhausted and couldn’t rest. Too much work, too little time. Though I tried to deny it I could feel it: the flame of passion I felt toward my ministry work had grown to a wildfire that threatened to burn me out. I needed to rest. But how?

I took a day off but I was restless. A friend told me, “Take a blanket outside in the shade.”

The last time I had sat on a blanket outside was in my college days. How sad that for all those years, I had missed those precious early days of spring, when the ground is first warmed by gentle sunshine, and a warm breeze plays through the new leaves. A blanket in the shade. What a wonderful idea.

Spring devotional
Photo by Karen Castleberry

I took an old comforter, still dusty from its use in the basement during a tornado scare. I found the shadiest spot in the backyard and spread the comforter over the soft, bumpy ground. I sank into a fluffy spring cloud, as I lay across the comforter. The most delirious spring joy filled me.

The tender leaves whispered a lullaby. Every burden fell away, as God’s arms held me close, my spirit refreshed by His. Deeper still, I could hear my heavenly Father sing His song of love over me. Cradled in softness, I was rocked gently to sleep by a warm breeze. A melody of sweet dreams on a spring afternoon was God’s gift of comfort and rest to me.

Prayer

God, thank You for the lullaby You sing over us. Thank You for delighting in us. Thank You for Your sweet rest and peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Thoughts

Did you know God sings over you? Ask Him what His song for you sounds like.

Where do you get your spiritual refreshment? Is it enough?

What is your favorite place to nap on a beautiful day in early spring, when all your cares rest at God’s feet and you are free to just be?

Activity

You know what this is going to be! Take a blanket to a shady spot in your backyard and spend some quiet time with God. If you don’t have a backyard, ask God where you can nap to rest in the comfort of the beautiful spring day He created for you.

Spring devotional
Photo by Karen Castleberry

Close-Up

How beautiful is the peaceful spring afternoon, the quiet rustle overhead, the branches dressed in their new green ruffles and dancing in the warm breeze. How beautiful is the dappled sunlight that plays hide and seek through shady patches of warm grass. How beautiful is my God, who made the spring as a time of renewal. How beautiful is the song He sings over me at this very hour.

Journal

In a journal or notebook, share your thoughts in a letter to God about what it means to you to rest in His comfort, to be soothed to sleep by His lullaby on a beautiful spring afternoon. Listen for His response and write what you hear.

God’s Invitation to You

God’s message to you: Did you know I sing over you? I am singing My song of love over you at this very moment. Would you like to hear it? I can help you quiet your spirit and fill you with peace and rest, so you can hear My song for you. Will you let Me?

Your Response to God

God, thank You for singing over me with love. I can’t wait to hear Your song. Please quiet my spirit and give me Your gift of rest and peace. God, forgive me for _____ [tell God what you would like forgiveness for, and know that He will forgive you]. God, thank You for _____ [tell God the things you’re thankful for today]. God, I need You. Please help me with _____ [tell God how you would like for Him to work in your heart and life today]. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Spring devotional
Photo by Neringa Hunnefeld at Unsplash

Sensing God’s Presence

Where do you sense God’s presence in the quiet rest of a spring afternoon?

I sense God’s presence as I watch the trees dance, reminding me to worship God with my whole heart and life.

I sense God’s presence as I watch a ladybug land on a blade of grass next to my blanket, knowing this colorful insect reflects God’s creativity.

I sense God’s presence in the comfort of the blanket that cradles me, knowing God brings comfort to every part of my heart.

Share with God some examples of where you sense His presence in the quiet rest of a spring afternoon.

Copyright © 2012 by Janet Eriksson

From Meditations on the Seasons (Janet Eriksson, author)

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Janet Eriksson is an intercessor, writer, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of nine books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches at https://adventureswithgod.blog/. She enjoys volunteering with Transformations. Janet received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Christian writer

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