Resting In God
Rest. Over the years, and the older I’ve grown, that simple, little, word has taken on a whole new meaning.
As a child, I hated taking naps. And throughout most my life, I was performance driven. Literally getting to sleep at night or resting was a challenge. Sometimes I still have difficulty learning to unwind and calm my racing mind and body, but I’m getting better. My husband can lay down and be asleep in mere minutes. I’m envious of that. It can take me hours to finally fall asleep and enter in to deep sleep or rest.
Until all the health challenges I faced over these past seven years, I was either always a bit driven or had a fear of missing out. I would drive my body into complete exhaustion. I saw rest as either a lazy trait or misunderstood the need for rest. But there’s also a spiritual application.
Rest is more than the cessation from activities; it means more than sleeping or taking a much-needed nap. Rest is much more than a vacation from a busy season of work, pressures, and deadlines. It’s more than refreshment. Rest means to draw aside to be with God for the pure pleasure of His presence and companionship. Rest means to abide in Him and to cease striving.
The Creator the universe led by example. In scripture and the book of Genesis it teaches that God spent 6 days forming all of creation. But on the 7th day He rested. Why would it say that God rested? God never slumbers or sleeps. He is forever watching over us, interceding for us, working on our behalf, and much more. So why would scripture say, “He rested?”
Rest in its verb form means to cease from activity in order to regain strength and to be refreshed. Clearly humans, creatures, and creation have sleep patterns, hibernation patterns, and seasons of rest. For example: it’s vital for a farmer to let a field rest. This allows the earth or soil to replenish its nutrients in order to produce a better crop. So, rest is essential in our everyday lives and in our seasons of life. So, what was the Creator trying to convey in His command to work 6 days and rest on the 7th? (Genesis 2:2)
Could it be that He knew our propensity to be driven? Perhaps He knew that we, whether like a child that fears missing out or like an overworked executive, would simply drive ourselves into exhaustion.
Rest is not for God as much as it is for us! But maybe it’s for God too…
And what if there is a deeper meaning? Again, God doesn’t need to rest. He simply knew His work was complete and it was time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of all that the Trinity had imagined and created together. It was the crowning moment of all creation and an enjoyment of what the Father, Son, and Spirit had accomplished together. It was a celebration of that finished work. Like a master artist finally stepping back and simply enjoying the completed masterpiece. God’s work was finished and He wanted to enjoy it. He still does!
When God calls us to rest with Him, certainly He wants to replenish our souls, renew our physical bodies, and restore our hearts. But what if there’s another level of rest that has nothing to do with work, performance, to-do lists, activities, or anything on our part? What if God wants you to rest so that He can delight in you and you in Him? You are that marvelous masterpiece, His beautiful creation. You are His finished work, His crowning glory. He just wants to enjoy you with no distractions, no agenda. What if, just what if, God the Creator wants you to enter into a new place of His pure delight of simply BEING together and Him delighting over you? What if He wants you and me to stop all our striving in this life and learn to walk in a new level of peace and enjoyment with Him. Maybe that’s the deeper meaning of entering into His rest.
These days, I don’t feel guilty when I can sit with a cup of coffee in my chair seeking more time with my Beloved. I don’t feel the pressure to perform and hit self-imposed deadlines on projects. And I certainly don’t feel guilty about taking a literal nap. But I’m also learning to turn off my phone or tune out the distractions and linger longer in the rest or delight of the Beloved. I’m learning to not be so driven and to cease striving. I’m learning about truly resting in God. Finally; in more ways than one. What about you? Can you learn to rest in God?
Do you know that you are My delight? I created you for fellowship with Me. You were never intended to live this life apart from Me. Draw aside to rest in Me. Learn to walk in that deep peace, in My delight over you, and learn to enter into that true rest for your soul. When I purchased your salvation through My Son, it meant you no longer had to strive to have peace, acceptance, forgiveness, and more in this life. You were never intended to bear the weight of sin and the curse any longer. Sin and dutiful religion lay a heavy burden on man’s shoulders; but I came to give you abundant life. There is that divine rest available to you where you can have fellowship with Me as you let Me guide your life and carry your burdens. Enter into that rest with Me. You are My beloved.
“Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.” (Psalms 62:1)
“Cease striving and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10)