The World’s Four-Letter Word
The weather across much of the United States has been quite unpredictable over these past few years (lending credibility to Scriptural prophecy as we approach the coming of the Lord!) and this winter has been no exception. The midwest and south central region where we base from is known for experiencing multiple seasons within a rather short period of time, sometimes even less than 24 hours! But I have to admit, even the extreme shifts over these past few months have left many of us with our heads spinning…and our allergies out of control! Just when you think winter is behind us and spring is ‘around the corner’, another wintry blast blows in and that calls for…drum roll…a SNOW DAY!
Let’s be honest. Snow days are fun for about the first 24-48 hours. And then we often become a little anxious to jump back into the swing of ‘real life’. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the requirement to keep the kitchen going for three meals each day, plus multiple snacks (because doing little to nothing makes us so hungry!). But I would like to submit one very critical suggestion as to the discomfort that comes with the interruption of daily routine. The world has a four-letter word that we’ve been programmed to delete from our vocabulary: R-E-S-T.
Believe me, I’m a fan of productivity and have a knack for keeping busy so no one (including myself) will get wind that I’m truly lazy at my core. But God has been speaking to me quite loudly over these past few years about the command to seek rest on a consistent basis. This rest was actually included in the ‘Big Ten’ in Exodus 20 when He said “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” (Ex 20:8-9) God Himself took the seventh day to rest after He had created the earth and the first humans. Did He really need rest? God Almighty? No, He was setting an example for mankind. Sabbath embodies more than just a specific day to worship, which is a requirement for a follower of Christ; it represents a consistent choice for daily life.
Our western culture has trained us to think of rest as an option for those who are weak, uber wealthy, or lazy. And by this same manipulation of thinking, Satan has handed us multiple avenues to stay so busy that we never have time (or take time) to rest, listen to the Spirit’s voice, read His Word and absorb its strength, and be refreshed to go back to work with fresh strength and power. Can I just go so far as to say this? It’s disobedient to not rest!
In a way it feeds our egos to always be busy, whether we really have to or not. Shouldn’t we be busy about His work? Absolutely! But His work will never require us to go against His Word. The prophet Samuel reminded Saul in 1 Samuel 15, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” We can sacrifice our lives, our bodies, our health, our children, our home, our marriages, and those we serve for the Cause and still miss the mark. How? We’ve disobeyed His COMMAND to rest.
You will never find that rest comes to you. You must find rest and choose to do it in obedience to the Lord. You need it. I need it. And in it we will be choosing, by faith, to take Him at His Word that what we find in times of rest will bring about greater effectiveness and productivity in the “six days” than we could have accomplished in our own strength and determination in the “seven days”. Yes, rest is an act of faith, much like tithing. These principles don’t make sense to our carnal minds. But they are a part of God’s plan of obedience by faith for His children, keeping us dependent upon Him.
Give rest a try! You may be uncomfortable with it at first. It probably won’t feel natural if you’re a chronic overscheduler like me. But determine to trust and obey. You’ll reap tremendous reward in both your rest and your labor if you will.
“28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Choosing to rest in Him,