Rest in, Restlessness Out
Six days each week is a blur of hustle and bustle, but I still can’t check everything off on my to-do list. Why in the world do I think one more day would eliminate my mountain of tasks!
As a teenager if my boss scheduled me to work at Kentucky Fried Chicken, I happily accepted the shift. I didn’t pay the least bit of attention to what the Lord said in Exodus 34:21, “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest.” I remember feeling as if God wouldn’t mind. I didn’t realize He was offering me a gift and I sure didn’t consider my response as refusing His love.
(Genesis 2:3 NLT ) And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all his work of creation.
My busy life causes my spirit to cry out for balance. My mind races to prioritize important events and I must pace myself so I don’t explode like a stick of dynamite. When I’m a restless sea, my tongue spouts deadly poison and minor troubles are quick to dishearten me.
Only when my frazzled mind recognizes I’m overworked, do I force myself to delegate tasks. The burnt out feeling clues me to re-examine my activities.
The Lord created me and knows every part: my body aches, the endless circle of “what am I supposed to be doing?” He knows I’m like an computer screen with all tabs open; my thinking is slooooow, my reasoning nonexistent, and my soul is screaming for rest.
Are there any “good things” that need to be omitted from my calendar? “Best things” to prioritize even if a few “good things” must be crossed off.
“Best things” for me means scheduling a Sabbath for worship and rest every week. I need this time to recharge my body and refocus my mind.
W. Jones, author of Rest a Future Portion of the Christian Believer, explained The Lord knew I would need rest from
- my struggle with sin
- physical and mental suffering
- laborious work
- all that makes life weary
Dean Vaughan advises us that “present rest can only be found in absolute trust made upon the cross of Jesus. I love the phrasing Matthew Henry’s commentary states, “God has always declared man’s rest to be in him, and his love to be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in his promises, through his son, to be the only way of entering that rest.”
But why wait for the Sabbath? Take a deep breath in, hold, and then exhale slowly. Feel your muscles relaxing. Allow your spirit, the deepness within you to sync in fellowship with God. F.B. Meyer describes it as the Lord comes in, rest enters, and restlessness goes out.
Heavenly Father, we praise you because you are the real happiness of our soul. We thank you for rest from our struggles, suffering, and weariness. We confess that we don’t always prioritize Sabbath, the day you blessed and declared holy. We ask that you forgive us and help us to replace the good things on our calendars with the “best things.” In Jesus Name, Amen.
Henry, Matthew. Commentary of Hebrew 4:1 – 10. Bible Hub.
Jones, W. Sermon. Rest a Future Portion of the Christian Believer. Bible Hub.
Meyer, F.B. Sermon. Ceasing From Self. Bible Hub.
Vaughan, Dean. Sermon. Rest in the Rest of God. Hebrews 4:10. Bible Hub.
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