Originally published Sunday, 24 April 2016.
It often takes the darkenss of a storm to show us the light of God’s presence. – Tony Evans.
Rest. This one word has such a non-productive vibe to it. It makes me wonder if there’s more to the idea of rest than a fat Sunday afternoon nap. Who out there is in a stormy situation or in uncertain place of where life has put you?
As it occurs to me, God gives us permission to rest, but personally I find it very hard to do. In God’s perfect idea of paradise, on the seventh day of creating, God stood back and left a day of margin for rest. He said, “What is accomplished is good, and I rest from creating.” God saw everything before Him was good and gave Himself permission to rest.
If God says it’s okay to rest, to not produce, and stand back appreciate what His hands made, then it’s fine for us to do the same. Did He obsess over it’s perfection? No, it was already perfect the way it was. Of course, this is God we are talking about. The takeaway I get from His kind of rest is the need to let what we create have a time of margin or rest. Also,it’s okay to celebrate the good, the right, the produced, the gifts of His hands in our lives.
I challenged myself with resting God’s way this past week. Whenever a worry or stress-filled thought came to mind, I just stood back from it and released it to God. My mind was filled with more peace and trust. My questions were quieted. My mind had more understanding about the care of God than ever experienced. And I didn’t stew or fret over the details.
I had to choose rest over worry and fretting. It’s easy to loose sight of the margin God wants in our lives. I find myself desirous of the filling in the gaps in my human understanding or reasoning, and resort in worry or looking for purpose. God is teaching me a new area of trust, dependence, and awareness of His security and supply.
In Rest, God reminds me I am not alone.
The more I learn about how to rest, the more intentional I’ve become in standing under His hand of rest. Resting doesn’t mean laziness or doing absolutely nothing. Rest brings an intentional action of behavior, based on the awareness and stillness, with a silent trust before the Lord.
Rest says God goes first in our daily conversations. I believe God works in every problem or circumstance released to Him. Praying in faith includes all of what God wants to do in our particular circumstances. Faith includes timing, provision, results or fruit, every unknown, and all details unseen.
His rest covers all the problems you haven’t worried over yet!
With every problem, it brings an opportunity for God to attach provision and His promise to it. As I was reading in Exodus 33:14 and God showed me something I missed in my hurry through Moses’s desert journey,
“The Lord replied, (to Moses) My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Rest in the journey! Friends, this kind of rest isn’t just a long Sunday afternoon nap, but a spiritual place where you can release anxiety and worry. Don’t let your mind fret about the things which might not happen! He has seen your days ahead and knows what you need before you live them. It’s time to believe God thinks about the kind of rest you need too!
Rest in God is a lifesytle born out of intimacy with Him. The best “Rest” is yet to come! What have you found to help you rest better?