March 2013
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Forced Leisure

Just before Christmas one year, a friend was diagnosed with leukemia and was told she must begin chemotherapy immediately. Just a few weeks earlier, Kim had told friends how blessed and content she felt with a loving family, a comfortable home, and a new grandson. As she entered the hospital, Kim asked Jesus to make His presence known to her and to stay close.

The next 7 months of treatments followed by recovery in partial isolation became a season she calls “forced leisure.” She says she learned how to slow down, reflect quietly, and rest in God’s goodness, love, and perfect plan—regardless of whether or not she would be healed.

One of God’s promises to His people Israel became personal to Kim: “The Lord your God . . . will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).

Kim is in remission after a journey she says changed her life for the better. Now back in her busy routine, she often pauses to recapture the lessons of “forced leisure.”

How important that we—in good times or times of challenge—draw near to God’s loving heart to hear His voice and place our lives in His hands.

A troubled heart, a wearied mind
Are burdens hard to bear;
A lack of peace, a heavy load
Are lifted by God’s care. —Fitzhugh
People are at the heart of God’s heart.