• Dianne Miley

Simplify

“For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:30


The world had gone crazy. And Rachel Santos feared going crazy along with it.

Thank God it was finally Saturday.

Her daughters, five-year-old Jessica and four-year-old Amelia, slept soundly in their beds. This beautiful summer morning, sun beams slanted through the trees, illuminating lush grass and delicate pink roses in her front yard.

She leaned back into the cushioned rocker and sipped vanilla chai tea, lightly sweetened with honey. Feeling decadent this morning and desperately needing comfort, she’d added cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Delicious. The rest of the world might crave coffee, but Rachel loved her tea.

Chirping birds sang cheerfully as if all was right with the world.

Rachel drew the warm mug to her chest.

What would life look like in six months? In one month? Next week? Or even tomorrow?

Her every decision hinged on future outcomes. But she had absolutely no idea what those might be.

She wasn’t sure the direction to go in housing, finances, career, family, or relationships.

Yet a few things she knew:

· She needed to cut expenses or increase income – preferably both.

· She was burned out in her office job and yearned to go back to being a florist.

· She wanted to mend the relationship with her sister Laura but had no idea how.

· Most stressing of all, she grieved losing her husband and knew her daughters needed a father, but feared opening her heart to another man.

Whew – the list was daunting.

Her gaze drifted to the big blue sky filled with puffy white clouds.

“Good morning, Lord.” She chuckled to herself, wanting to jump right in with questions, but even in her prayers, the gentle manners taught by her southern mama led her actions.

“Lord, I love you and want to trust and obey you. But it’s just so hard. I don’t know what direction to go, or what to tackle first, or even where to begin.”

She set her tea on the mosaic table beside her, folded her hands in her lap, and bowed her head.

“What do I do, Lord?” she asked fervently. “Please, tell me what to do.” Remembering a recent sermon on hearing God’s voice, she prayed like the prophet Eli advised Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:9. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

She sat quietly, and listened.

Simplify.

The single word whispered on the wind.

Her eyes popped open. She looked around the front porch, the rose garden, and across the lawn. Her gaze flitted through the trees surrounding her yard.

“Lord, was that you? I still don’t know what to do, what that means exactly, or what it looks like—”

Simplify.

The Holy Spirit interrupted her this time, because sadly, He’d needed to.

Rachel sat in awe, staring up at the sky. Her shoulders relaxed and her breathing slowed. The rocker stilled and her feet planted firmly on the ground.

Peace washed over her on a cool breeze. Goose bumps rose on her arms and legs as warm tingles ran through her.

Simplify.

Three times the Spirit spoke to her. Three times the same one word.

She would let that single principle rule her decisions.

Ideas flashed through her mind at lightning speed – light bulbs flashing one solution after another.

Accept my family’s offer to help.

Move into the cottage next door to Mama and Daddy.

Let Mama help with the girls.

Quit my job.

Go back to work at the flower shop.

Forgive Laura. Ouch, that’s a tough one.

Pray for a good man to come along.

And pray for courage to love again.

These all relied on the clincher: Swallow my pride.

Suddenly, it all became clear. Not that all the pieces would fall so neatly into place, especially the forgiveness and love and pride parts.

But the Holy Spirit had spoken. To her. Quietly, but clearly.

When she’d been quiet. When she’d asked. And when she’d listened.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10 settled into her heart.

Whatever life brought her tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, she knew God was good.

She didn’t know how she’d make due on a smaller salary, but she knew that if she trusted God, and if she obeyed Him, He would provide.

Cheaper rent and free daycare would certainly help.

Despite her many trials and troubles, God had always been beside her. He’d always taught her, led her, and guided her toward maturity, character, and a better place than she’d been before.

Once again, she needed to let go of her stubborn will to figure things out on her own.

She needed to let go of her pride.

She needed to let go of worry and let God be God.

His ways were so much better than hers.

“Take my yoke upon you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29


To read Rachel’s story, find Roses for Rachel by CLICKING HERE.


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