Finally, I got my summer clothes out of the attic and into the dresser drawers only to realize summer is almost over. Where has the summer gone? School supplies wait on shelves for the get-back-to-school rush! That is the bell that says summer recess is over, get back to work! But summer is supposed to be the time for a resting vacation. Maybe your va-cation was a sta-cation that turned into a work-cation. What happened to the rest part?
By the way what is rest? It really looks different to each of us. Rest for my friend Pete is kayaking, which sounds like way too much work me! To me rest is a hammock, assuming I can get into the thing without landing on the ground a dozen times; a big hammock, swaying gently under a shade tree, in a quiet place, beside a stream, birds serenading me, complete with a great book and a tall glass of iced lemonade. Other favorite of mine are: quiet walks through canopied trails and along the seashore; or plopped in a chair on the porch watching sunsets in the mountains; or laughing with my grandchildren. In this mad-dash world that we live in today, it is difficult to find genuine rest. Have you discovered a place of rest?
Rest was God’s idea. Let’s take a look.
1. He established and commanded (not suggested) a day to rest.. (Exodus 20:11)
2. He provides a physical system for rest; sleep.
3. We can believe God for sweet sleep. Proverbs 3:24 KJV
4. We can sleep in peace so our emotions can rest. Psalm 4:8 KJV
5. God established a place of rest that can only be entered by faith and the obedience enabled by faith. (Hebrews 4:1-6) We walk by faith, live by faith and rest because we have faith. Faith in a God that never sleeps, never leaves us and watches over us tenderly.
6. Biblical refreshing…While all these points are vital and viable; there are numerous resources accessible to help you rest better. But often biblical refreshing is overlooked in our quest to rest.
In our quest to rest, we need to be careful that we do not miss the rest that is available in God’s presence. Acts 3:19 (KJV) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out , when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” It is a place, just as real as your favorite physical location.
I’ve seen children, youth and adults experience that rest in corporate worship; scattered around the room, as they knelt, many laying their faces on the floor resting in the sweet peace of God’s presence.
I’ve moved into a quiet place of rest, in my private worship.
It’s not automatic! That place of refreshing that God has for us can be missed. Isaiah 28:12 “To whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear.”
Need a vacation? Hurry! Summer is almost over, but before you go, unpack your worries, leave them in God’s hands, and rest.
Matthew 11:28 KJV Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden , and I will give you rest.