Rest 5.29.15

Lately I have been tired. And by tired, I mean just plain tired. But it goes beyond having had a busy day and being ready for bed. It is being tired on many levels – physically, emotionally, even spiritually. Ministry is tiring. Life is tiring! So how do I find the rest I need to keep on keeping on?

The concept of rest begins in Genesis. In Genesis 2:2,3 we see that on the seventh day of creation God rested. Now I’ll leave all of the theological explanations of that up to my husband, but suffice it to say that God did not rest because He was tired like us. His “rest” was simply stopping His work and reflecting on how good it was. In the book of Exodus, God instructs His people to also rest on the seventh day. They were to use this day to stop from their daily activities and contemplate God’s works and words. Later, in Matthew 11:28, Jesus Himself tells us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

So how do I do this? How do I get the rest my soul and body need? First of all, if I follow the Biblical principle I need to “stop.” Of course, we all know that is easier said than done! With a family to care for, a house to keep up, and constant ministry needs to attend to, how do I stop? The answer is: I just do. I have to make the time to stop my daily chores, sit down with God’s Word, and contemplate His works and words. And I need to do that every day. When I fail to make the time to stop, the tiredness simply compounds and I lack the physical, emotional, and spiritual energy to make it through the day.

Besides the daily “stop”, I need to build times of rest into my life. For our family, it usually means we have to leave the city. The ministry demands are so much that if we are not physically away from it all, we cannot stop. At least once a year we pack up the family and drive somewhere outside the city for at least a week. And we stop. We stop our daily responsibilities; we stop our busy schedules. And we contemplate. We rehearse all God has done in our family and ministry; we consider His words and greatness. And we find rest.

Apart from God and His Word, I will not find true rest. Referring to Jesus’s words in Matthew 11:28, Walter A. Elwell puts it like this: “The rest he promises is certainly for the world to come, but it is also for this world. It is the sense of security and peace that flows from a right relation with God, the Father, through obedience to his Son, the Messiah, and membership in his kingdom.”

Are you finding rest today?

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