Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
When you think of rest, what kind of images come to mind? My mind automatically goes to the beach, on a warm day, with a gentle breeze blowing across me as I lie on a towel and enjoy a good book. I am not having to do anything, no cooking or cleaning or running after children, I don’t even have to speak to anyone if I don’t want to. Ah, rest.
It seems that in our society, rest seems to be an illusive dream; it may be that we rest at night after a long day at work, or we “rest” on weekends at home where we find ourselves, cleaning, doing yard work, and maybe hanging out with some friends.
We are running on over drive, at full speed ahead. No stopping, no time for “down time” just go, go, go. If it is not work that we are doing, it is running our children to their various sporting activities.
God, when he created the world and everything in it, he worked for 6 days, and then rested on the 7th day. He set that rule into place for his people as well, that they would work for 6 days and then rest completely on the 7th day.
I am sure that most of you have heard the phrase, “Rest in Jesus, Jesus is our rest, the Lord will give you rest” I could go on, but you get the picture. But what does it mean to rest in the Lord Jesus Christ, and why do we as Christians need to know this very important principle?
I have been wrestling with this concept of rest for a while as I was not sure what God meant when he whispered to my heart that I needed to learn to rest in him.
I asked him to show me what he meant when he told me that his burden was light, and that I could totally rest in His ability as my lord and Savior.
I believe that what I am going to share with you now over the next few paragraphs are the fundamental truths about what it means to learn how to truly enter God’s rest, in the midst of our crazy lives.
In my search for understanding what rest in God meant, I discovered that I am what most people would consider an over achiever, I strive constantly to do my best. I am always throwing myself into projects that require not 100% of me, but sometimes it feels 700%. I often feel the need to try and earn peoples approval, as well as God’s (I don’t have to I know, but I fall into the trap of wrong thinking and then before I know it, I am in so deep when it comes to striving)
So, as you can see, resting is not a priority of mine. Not only is it not a priority I am not sure what it looks like. God knows perfectly what it means to rest in him and to be honest I was really shocked when I discovered what God’s definition of rest really was.
My husband and I have embarked on a journey of obedience and trusting God, you might say to yourself, so what we are all doing that, but let me explain.
A few years ago, we believed that the Lord wanted to do a new thing in our lives and part of that new thing was for my husband to quit his job, and start up his own business.
We had some savings that we had put away; therefore it was not that hard in the beginning to trust God as we were quite reliant on our money in the bank to see us through until the business started to make money.
We had it all figured out, we had about 2 ½ years worth of money in the bank and then we would start to run into trouble. So we stepped out of our comfort zone of getting a pay check every 2 weeks and made the break. (Please be aware that we did not do this lightly as we burnt our bridges. We had prayed about it and sought the Lord then we felt that we had the go ahead from him to do this)
Well, 2 years went by, and we learnt a lot about life and faith and relationships as we were on our new adventure. But then the money started to run out, and we started to get a bit nervous, it was easy to “trust” God when we had all that money in the bank, but now that the bottom of the account started to loom in front of us, we started to get very nervous.
I remember thinking to myself, that we were so foolish for taking this step as now we were getting to the end of our funds and had absolutely nothing; the business was generating an income, but not enough to sustain us. My husband did have a part time income on the side, but even that dried up.
I cried out to God for help, as my tolerance of trust was reaching its limit.
You might think that that is a crazy statement but remember; what I had thought was trust in God for our finances, really was “trusting in what was in my bank account”
What does that have to do with resting in God? Well in this time of pure panic and fear that I was not going to be able to feed my children, the Lord was speaking this word into my heart. REST IN ME!
Lord, how can I rest, I need to go and find a job and help my husband with the finances and I need to… yes I had a large list of things that I needed to do in order to help my husband with the finances. I felt like everywhere I turned it seemed to me that rest was the word that I kept hearing.
To read the rest of this article please go to part 2.