When You Need Peace and Quiet

Worshipper by Holley Gerth

Maybe you’ve had a conversation like this one:

“I’m tired,” I confessed to friends over lunch one day.

What’s going on?” they asked.

I shrugged my shoulders and sighed, “I don’t really know.”

They hugged me and promised to pray I’d be filled up again.

That night I pulled out my art journal, plugged headphones into my ears and grabbed a sharpie. I wanted to think through my life and especially my work. I began to put “Writer” at the top of the page because that’s my title. But as I leaned toward the paper I felt a bit of hesitation and I silently asked God, “What do you want me to write in that spot?” And it seemed I heard one word in response: Worshipper. 

And suddenly I knew why I was so exhausted. I’d switched from being a worshipper to a worker. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. Throughout my life when I feel pressure mounting and expectations building I tend do have one response: try harder. It’s a heart reflex I’ve had since high school. Be more. Do more. Go more. I carry on like that until I get worn out and a bit rebellious.

Yes, I should have caught on a bit quicker to that pattern by now. But I’m a bit of a slow learner in this area it seems. Maybe you have one of those areas in your life too? Thankfully we serve a God of grace. A God who chases us down right in the middle of all our wild and weary-making running. A God who speaks life and peace and rest into us.

A God who wants our hearts more than our hands. 

I spelled out the letters slowly “w-o-r-s-h-i-p-p-e-r.” I crossed out these letters “w-o-r-k-e-r.” And I thought of this verse: “One handful of peace and quiet is better than two handfuls of toil and of trying to catch the wind” {Eccl. 4:6}. Toil is work without joy. Work that drains your life instead of filling it. And trying to catch the wind is meaningless striving. The endless doing, clicking and trying harder just to feel more in control. I’d been living both.

And God was asking me, “Can you be satisfied with one handful?” Because here’s how we’re meant to live, friends: with one handful holding tight to what God has given us–love, joy, peace, grace, goodness. And the other hand empty and open for whatever else he would have us receive. Two handfuls means we’re clenching our fists through life. We’re gritting out teeth. We’re hanging on with all our might. Two handfuls means we’re tired.

Thankfully, God generously offers us what all tired people need–rest. Even if the world around us keeps unavoidably spinning–the toddlers keep throwing cheerios, the projects keep coming, the calendar keeps filling–we can wrap our fingers around peace in a way that truly does pass understanding. And we can let go of all we’ve grasped that was never meant for us.

You can be saved by returning to me.
You can have rest.
You can be strong by being quiet and by trusting me.

— God, {Is. 30:15}

I filled the page with words and prayers. Then I laid my pen down. And when I laid my head down on the pillow that night too, I felt different. Not so weary and afraid. Quieter inside. More like a worshipper and less like a worker. I hope to end each day a little more like that for the rest of my life because I’m learning it’s the best, most beautiful way to live. And it’s ours free.

We can all reach out and take hold of the peace that has been promised us today. And we can let go of all our striving so we can receive what’s infinitely better: God’s unconditional love and grace. 


Holley Gerth


p.s. I wrote a post yesterday about messing up…and I put a link at the end that didn’t work. Ironic, yes? 🙂 Here’s the correct link for the book I recommended: Rewired by Brandon Cox.

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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