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All is at rest

This year was particularly significant for me as I turned 50.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how these important milestones become moments to pause and reflect? It’s a time to look back, smile at the wins and experience a deeper grace towards oneself when remembering some of the less than ideal choices one’s made.

‘Oh, if I only knew then what I know now…’

The older I get, the more I appreciate and feel drawn to ‘being present’. Living within the ‘grace of a day’ beckons to me and although I haven’t yet managed to master this ideal, I find myself much more curious about the day-to-day.

Glimpses of glory

I am slowing down — becoming more connected with my body and its signals. I find creation and connection mind-blowing; looking for God in the ordinary things of life and discovering glimpses of glory.

I enjoy the simpler things like spending time with my daughters, having a good conversation with friends, watching a movie with my husband and sitting here now as I type — the doors open, birds singing, a fresh, still breeze cooling me down, and the distant hum of traffic and children playing.

I recognise a little resistance developing within me concerning the western pull to strive and overachieve. It may be age-related, or it may well be a consequence of the lessons learned through the enforced slow pace of lockdown.

Either way, I really don’t want to play that game anymore.

There’s a hymn written 100 years before I was born that resonates with me in this season.

Blessed Assurance

In 1873, Fanny Crosby — who was a similar age to me — together with Phoebe P Knapp, wrote ‘Blessed Assurance’, a well-known and much-loved hymn that’s still sung today.

The song is based on an interpretation of Hebrews 10:22: ‘Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water’ (NLT).

Although I am a self-confessed lifelong learner, my physical and spiritual maturing has perhaps enabled me to experience a measure of comfort in the mystery of it all.

Slowing down

Perhaps the real reason for my wanting to slow down is a greater understanding of God’s blessed assurance in our lives. I have tasted of His goodness, seen His provision, and wrestled with a forgiveness I knew I didn’t deserve.

Over the last 20 years, I have experienced the heart healing love of God and continue to do so. I recognise the night and day difference between life before my ‘yes’ to Jesus — and after — and yet I still recognise the questions that linger.

I see the disparity that exists between the ‘what is’ and the ‘what’s to come’ — the space between Christ’s victory on the cross and His promised return.

And it is in the mystery of it all that I sing the words: ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.’

Unwavering grace

An unwavering confidence in God’s loving grace shines through the words of this beautiful song. Fanny Crosby, despite being blind, was able to visually ‘cross over’ to a realm of beauty, understanding, love and grace.

I believe God is calling us to do the same. We can be defeated by the troubles that surround us. We can feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face — fearful of what the future might hold.

And yet, despite all this, we can still surrender to His writing of ‘our story’. We can respond with our own ‘song’ — one that praises our Saviour ‘all the day long’.

We can submit to the mysteries of life and faith, hold on to God’s promises, and allow the Holy Spirit to use our imagination to see visions of heaven and experience His echoes of mercy and whispers of love.

And, as we practise living within the grace of each day, we will find rest in Him, blessed and happy as we watch and wait — our eyes fixed on the things above — lost in His love, and daily being filled with His goodness.


Take a moment to truthfully consider how ‘present’ you are. What areas of your life might you need to submit afresh to God? Spend some time in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to help you respond.

Why not share this devotion with a friend and agree together on a way you can both practise living within the grace of a day? A day filled with the blessed assurance that, in Jesus, you can be at rest.

Pray too for those serving with MAF overseas to find God’s glory in times of quiet and contemplation, enjoying His presence and peace each day.