Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Just Need a Break!

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.  I just need a break!  My mind would wander to a deserted beach somewhere in the caribbean, or a mountain top cabin in the foremost corner of Alaska.  I would think of the feeling of rest I would gain by having that conference planned, or that looming project at work completed once and for all.  However, God stopped me in my tracks the other day about "rest" and I wanted to share it.

As usual, I was thinking about the break I was needing from my day to day life.  A song rose up in my heart and I heard the verse "Find rest my soul in Christ alone.  Know His power in quietness in trust . . . "  Then, it hit me.  True rest is found in Christ.  I will never gain true rest from any natural source - sleep, vacations, excursions, an organized and spotless house, or completed house and work projects.  I had been looking for a certain time to "rest", but it seemed like it would never come.  

Hebrews 4:8 says "This new place of rest was not the land of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it had been, God would not have spoken later about another day of rest."  Okay, so the Israelites were waiting 40 years to enter into the promise land.  Don't you think they thought once they got there that it would be the all in all?  That land was their destiny and it would be full of everything they could ever need or want.  Well, apparently it didn't hold EVERYTHING and that was a place of God's rest.

I have found myself time and time again thinking, "once this is accomplished, then I will really rest.  If I can get this church event out of the way, then I'll be good.  If our church can overcome this or that and get this many members or volunteers to do this or that, then we can rest a bit. . ."  Well, there is no destination to rest as it is not a physical place or occurrence.  

Hebrews 4:9-11 says "So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.  For all who enter into God's rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world.  Let us do our best to enter into that rest."

So, we have God's rest inside of us.  We should focus and aim for God's daily rest and not just a vacation to try and "catch up" on rest.  The question is not what can I do to get rest but how can I LIVE in God's rest?

The Lord said to me: "You are allowing yourself to be anxious and wrought up and it's draining you mentally and physically.  You are magnifying your duties and not me as you go about life. You are looking at life as a mountain you are forever climbing and an obstacle course that is forever zapping your strength.  You've got to change your perspective.  Life is not a chain of duties and tasks.  You are not enjoying the big picture."

Now I'm not advocating working yourself into a frenzy while trying to rely on the "inward rest" of God, but I do think I have misplaced my focus on what "rest" is.  So, once again, I'm learning. God help me to enjoy the "rest" of my life which only comes from You!

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