I was visiting with a dear friend at the YMCA early this year when the topic of rest came up. She was telling me how the winter season just makes her want to slow down. She wants to hibernate and be cozy with books. Aside from making me sleepy due to the cloudy skies and stir-crazy because of the cold days, winter does not have that effect on me at all. She contended that maybe this season is for us to really rest because when else do we rest. Spring, summer, and fall are such busy seasons. Winter is just about the only time we get to press pause.
It made me start to consider the idea of rest and what it means to me. Do I ever get any true rest?? I have tried to purposely rest and found my mind spinning many times. I have experimented this year by getting prepared for a Sunday rest. I decided to double cooking in the crock-pot, so I only have to cook one meal (I really enjoyed it BTW).
And I also decided something a bit crazy. Despite having started my blog and having a lofty 2018 goal of posting once per week, I decided to can the goal and wait until I am hearing from the Lord to write. I canned all 2018 goals for more general topics of interest. Instead of spending time creatively coming up with blog topics, I’m just waiting to have ideas delivered to me. Fortunately, I got some rest from the Lord when I handed my blog project over to him.
The true rest is in God. A rest from the world is nearly impossible, especially with kids involved. If the works of the world don’t fall to me they will fall to someone else inevitably. No one magically came to do the dishes on Sundays when I double cook!
I happened upon this bible verse in my study time recently. And I wasn’t specifically studying rest. Don’t you love when that happens?
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
God is speaking to Israel and he is telling them where their faults lie, what they have been doing, and what he is prepared to do for them.
Other versions use “returning” instead of “repentance” and the Amplified version modifies trust with the word “confident”. Confident trust.
How many times am I just spinning on my own, trying to do my good deeds, and please God? How many times am I truly repentant and resting in his mercy, unable to offer much? Which one am I more comfortable with?
Recently, I have truly meditated on this verse. I have chewed on it and pondered it daily. When I have things to repent of I can condemn myself and then busy myself with tasks to “make up” for my sins. But instead recently I have chosen to repent and rest. And I’ll be honest, it has been quite awkward.
You see, God is the one who saves. We are the ones who repent. It is not our job to work our way to heaven. We are fortunately on the receiving end of the biggest and best gift ever given. And our job is to simply return to him and rest with it in our hands.
Being quiet is difficult when the world around us is loud. And trusting is difficult when the world around us says “Solve the problem!!!” There are many squeaky wheels out there begging for a fix.
The solution to a lot of our problems is repentance. The solution to a lot of our problems is rest. The solution to a lot of our problems is quietness and trust.
Keep messing up in life? Repent and confidently trust Him.
Feel overwhelmed and burdened, busy and burnout? Rest and be quiet in him.
I could keep going on and on couldn’t I? I feel like this is the back of a shampoo bottle.
Rinse, lather, repeat.
Repent, rest, quietly confidently trust.
Jesus echos the verse in Isaiah when he speaks to his disciples in Matthew 11:28-30 , “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
Let’s keep coming back to him when we are weary and burdened, when we deeply need rest. But even more, let’s come to him daily, minute by minute. Even when we think we’ve got it all handled. Let’s come to him and learn from him. Let’s be lead by his easy and light yoke.
Praise God today for rest!!