Building Margin – Week 1, Day 3

Daily Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 30:15-16 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you refused and said, ‘No! We will flee upon horses’ – therefore you shall flee! and, ‘We will ride upon swift steeds’ – therefore your pursuers shall be swift!”

“Come on, people! We’ve got places to be!” No, this was not me yelling at traffic but the voice of my son, Will, yelling from the booster seat in the back of the car. He was 7 or 8 years old and he was only repeating what he had heard someone say. His mother most likely.

I was probably late for something. Maybe I had thrown one more load of laundry in the washer before I left the house. Maybe I had talked on the phone a little too long. Maybe I hadn’t allowed time for getting a child, his stuff, my stuff and myself out of the house. Whatever the reason, I was in a rush.

And I was teaching my son to rush.

Isaiah spoke of our salvation coming from rest and returning to God. He spoke of quietness and trust as our strength. He said, however, that we refuse this salvation and strength by fleeing and riding away swiftly. We rush, we speed and we reap the consequences.

Building margin into our lives helps us make room for calmer spirits. It teaches us to return to God for our strength. It also helps us set more peaceful examples for others. You never know who’s listening.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for your calming presence in my life. Forgive me, Lord, when I rush instead of seeking your peace and your salvation. I don’t allow the time that is needed to move peacefully through life. Forgive me when my lack of margin in my own life affects the lives of others. Teach me this day to trust You in all areas of my life. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Reflection Question and/or Application for the Day:

Think about your week. Would you say that you have had a calm week? Have you rushed from place to place? Have you sensed God’s presence throughout your days?

What can you do today that will give you a sense of God’s presence in a deeper way?


Keep a brief prayer in your mind that draws you back to God. (Examples: God, be my strength or God, be my peace)

Memorize a verse of Scripture:

Is 30:15 – “In quietness and in trust shall be my strength.”

Prov 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.”


Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

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