Receiving God’s Renewing Presence in the Deserts of Your Life: A Study of the Exodus
by Sonja Corbitt
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 20 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 14 Oct 2021
The desert wanderings of the Chosen People—and the spiritual lessons and encouragement they offer to us today—come alive in scripture teacher Sonja Corbitt’s five-week Bible study on the Exodus account.
This dynamic study will help you to apply the spiritual lessons of the Exodus into your own life, identify areas of desolation and need, and better understand God’s greater purposes in times of adversity and dryness. In so doing, you will experience what it means to invite Jesus to nourish your spirit and guide you to the kingdom promised to all who enter into his rest.
Breaking open both the Exodus and overview of it found in Hebrews 3–4, Corbitt shows how the event is also a powerful metaphor for the spiritual life: everything we need—spiritual, emotional, and physical rest and replenishment—is found not at the end of our journey but in the desert itself. .Everything God desires for us may be found in the “Dew of Heaven,” Jesus.
Corbitt reveals that the heavenly sustenance God provided to the Chosen People in the desert is available to us today if we open ourselves to it. Whatever your questions, you will find the answers you seek as you come to understand how God delivered the Chosen People from their waywardness and blessed them with everything they needed to reach the Promised Land. And he will do the same for us if we ask.
Each of the five chapters of this study explores a different facet of the desert experience:
· rest in the wandering—God’s ways are desert ways: entering the desert;
· thoughts at rest: testing in the desert;
· emotions at rest: conquering the desert;
· body and spirit at rest: emerging from the desert; and
· the blessings of rest: entering the Promised Land.
Each chapter contains summary points, an invitation to respond, and Corbitt’s LOVE the Word lectio exercises.
A Note From the Publisher
“Embracing the story of the Exodus—but with a refreshing twist—Sonja Corbitt leads the reader through the strenuous desert journey with the children of Israel, showing how God dwelt with his people and cared for their every need, desiring for them to rest in his love. Using engaging personal stories, Sonja invites us to pray the scriptures as she tenderly guides us through the deserts of our own lives, taking us through dryness and desolation to a springtime of spirituality. Like the dewfall, Just Rest gently nourishes the driest of souls. A must-read for anyone who could use a little spiritual spa time!”
Founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization
“The human person has a habit of avoiding two things: suffering and rest. Sonja Corbitt does a beautiful job of not only giving us a new way of understanding these things but also bringing them together in order to find joy, fullness of life, and intimacy with Christ. This book is a must for anyone who has faced or is now finding themselves in the desert. Corbitt teaches us that the Exodus wasn’t long ago but is here and now, a true gift for all of us.”
Contributor to Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
and cohost of School of Humanity podcast
“Having picked up Just Rest in a time of busyness and burnout, I was struck to the depths of my heart. With her usual biblical insight, Corbitt lays out why spiritual rest is more than just taking a break and invited me into the desert with her to find it. I left the book feeling renewed, refreshed, and ready to trust the God who leads his people out of bondage into the Promised Land.”
Cohost of the Plaid Skirts and Basic Black podcast
“Sonja Corbitt uses interpretations of quantum mechanics to provide a solid base for advice on how to engage with Catholic spirituality and to help us see how the science fits into our picture of the world. Often when I read a book I like very much, I think, ‘I wish I had written that.’ I’m sure I could not have written Just Rest, but I’m very glad I read it.”
Writer for the Magis Center for Faith and Reason
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
I am so grateful to have discovered Sonja Corbitt! Her knowledge of Scripture is expansive and thorough. She has the ability to, very seamlessly, explain how Old Testament prophesy is fulfilled in the New Testament. And I am always astonished at how timely the themes of Sonja’s books correlate with what is happening both in my life personally as well as with events unfolding in our world. This five-week study of the Exodus helped me to explore my own personal “promised land of rest”. Throughout the study Sonja shares the story of her conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholicism, allowing the reader to get to know her. Just Rest is written beautifully, with authenticity, humility and intelligence. I always come away from Sonja’s studies feeling invigorated in my faith and hungering for more knowledge. She is a true gift to those of us who sometimes find it difficult to draw close to God through His Word. Sonja will teach you . . . and you will be amazed!
Sonja Corbitt’s “Just Rest” is not simply another inspiring piece of literature. If you take to heart the depth and breadth of the message within the book it will transform your life. For many, the word Sabbath, is viewed as Old Testament terminology that has no present-day application. This assumption could not be further from the truth. Sonja brilliantly ties together the many ways and times God has stressed the importance of His commandment to seek our rest in Him and what happens when we do not. Sonja offers clarity on not only the importance of setting aside a day every week with our Lord, but also shares the richness, joy and peace that comes from doing so. T oo many of us think the hour or two we spend in Church fulfills this commandment. Often times when services conclude, families are off the races in trying to get to their favorite restaurant to dine or mall to shop. Keeping the Lord’s Day properly stipulates that we don’t cause others to work either. Read Sonja’s book and let it not only change your understanding of keeping the Lord’s Day, but changing your lives in the process. The Lord is waiting for you.
Just Rest The wilderness is synonymous in the scriptures with desert. The desert teachings of Exodus helps bring a new spiritual understanding of God's promise to rest in Him. Sonya Corbitt explores the messianic redemption of the desert to help you understand your difficulties and fears. Each chapter ends with a review followed by Cobitt's Lectio Divina exercise LOVE the Word.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sonja, you will appreciate her intelligent, practical approach to Bible study and personal sanctification. She writes with an straightforward, easily understandable style. She has depth of knowledge and experience in both Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition. For those who DO know her and her writings, you’ll find a wealth of new information here as well as more on some topics you may be familiar with already. I highly recommend this book, especially if you need refreshment in your life, if you suffer from anxiety or fear, or if you are seeking a deeper, more personal connection to God and the person you’re created to be.
Just Rest: Receiving God's Renewing Presence in the Deserts of Your Life is a welcomed addition to the studies of the Biblical Book of Exodus. Author Sonja Corbitt has created a highly-relatable work that speaks to our inherent need for rest and renewal in our lives. As Corbitt wisely notes, "Rest is not a luxury; it is a spiritual discipline. It is a gift." The writer convincingly uses examples from her own life to demonstrate the need to observe regular times of physical and emotional rest in order to be spiritually refreshed. In this way, Corbitt makes the Book of Exodus highly accessible to a modern audience. In our hectic, overly-committed lives, Just Rest is the perfect spiritual antidote to what is ailing us as individuals and as a society.
In the midst of the chaos in our world today, Sonja draws wisdom from the “desert wanderings of the Chosen people” and applies them to our lives today. Throughout the book, Sonja encourages the reader to experience, welcome and embrace the time in the desert as part of our journey of faith. As he did with the Israelites, God is not only teaching us through these desert offerings, but he is revealing his very self to us, to draw us into a deeper relationship with him. Sonja’s knowledge and love of scripture is woven throughout Just Rest. Sonja breaks open the desert experience into five separate areas-each meant to deepen our relationship with God. As she explains in Just Rest, “rest is grace, and not a punishment. Rest is not a luxury; it is a spiritual discipline. It is a gift. Rest is a promise.” Having experienced a ministry job loss within the pandemic, I had difficulty embracing this period of rest in my own life. Sonja’s book helped me to embrace the opportunity given to me…to “just rest” and lean into what God was teaching me about myself and his love for me during my own time in the desert. I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling to be at rest within the chaos of the world today. As stated in Just Rest, the desert awaits you; come, and experience the dew of heaven.
When Sonja Corbitt first began writing, she went through a desert of despair, receiving rejection after rejection, and getting completely tangled up in her emotions. She felt that God wasn't listening, but eventually after praying and receiving answers, she discovered that she was suffering from her father's treatment of her. She compares this emotional desert with the one that the Israelites went through to get to the Promised Land and the desert that most of us have to endure at some time. This is a powerful story about conversion, grace and healing. I found the parts about controlling emotions and the importance of forgiveness especially helpful. Sonja includes summaries and spiritual guidance at the end of each chapter. It's a book that needs to be read a few times intently. I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Another great book from the Bible study Evangelista! Sonja can always be counted on for teaching that is relevant but also faithful to the magisterium. She teaches about the discipline of trusting God and finding rest, even in our "desert" experiences. The book of Exodus is made more applicable to modern life.