Work to Rest

The last few weeks have been unusually busy for my husband and me. Not only at work, but in life. Living in Colorado, even though generally speaking neither of us care to be politically engaged beyond the mere basics, we both believed this year was urgent and crucial for grass roots folks like us to be involved everywhere, so we put our money where out mouth was and stepped into the world of delegates. That in itself has been chaotic, disturbing, and highly educational. I found myself wishing that every citizen be required at least once in their lifetimes to be involved in some form or another, at whatever level ‘beyond the basics’!

In addition to that, I am in the midst of writing a book I have titled “Secrets of the Bride” and expect to have that fully published this summer, so more to come on that for sure! This has been a subject of passion for me for the last seven years or so, and I’ve been teaching a class by the same name off and on now since 2019. As a matter of fact, I have another class starting at our church on May 1st!

Amidst these things my husband also has a minor surgery coming up that we are preparing for as well. Add all of this to just life in general, as well as all of the craziness and chaos of the world today, I have to stop and wonder how young families with active children ever manage to have time to do anything! The busyness of life can so easily fill up every inch of space we have left until there feels nothing left at the end of the day to give at all to anyone.

I was listening to a sermon recently that was focused on Hebrews 4:11, with an emphasis on being diligent to rest. It sound ironic that one should be diligent, strive for, or work to rest. The sermon pointed out that in order to rest, we must also have peace, or quietness of soul. What enables a quietness of soul? In the midst of this busyness, what enables rest and peace in the midst of chaos and conflict? For some, it could also be asked how is it possible to have joy in the midst of trials, the way that James chapter one encourages?

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”

Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662)

Is that it? We just don’t know how to be still anymore? Even if we did learn how to sit quietly in a room alone, would that solve things? Sitting quietly is not meant to be an achievement, but an instrument. Jesus knew this as well. Once His ministry was public, crowds followed Him sometimes for days on end without care for food. They constantly pressed in around Him, day and night. What was His answer, His secret to a joyful, peaceful, confident walk? He purposed to spend time alone with His Father! In much the same way we purpose to go to the gym, purpose to go to work every day, purpose to take our kids to soccer practice. In much the same way we purpose to do anything! Jesus knew the only place He could find peace, rest, and refreshing was to purposefully seek time alone with His Father, and He taught His disciples to do the same. This was also the same way He received instructions for the day, for we know that He only did what He saw His Father doing, only spoke what He heard His Father speak.

Maybe you get it, and you also purpose to seek the Father on a regular basis, but you are still doubtful on how the peace that Jesus gives can be translated to joy, or how we can count it all joy whenever we face trials. It’s because we have the logic backwards. We tend to think that joy comes after, or as a result of, the trial being removed. But does it? In James 1:2, the word joy can also be translated as “grace recognized“. Recognizing the grace God has given us in the midst of the trial, the grace that comes from really knowing Him, is like Paul and Silas singing and giving thanks in prison. The earthquake followed the joyful praise, not the other way around! Giving thanks with a grateful heart that God is good and will work out our situation to our good is the key to moving the mountain that sits in front of us.

I speak peace and the blessings of God upon you in the midst of this chaos. May you purpose to spend time with Him daily.

2 thoughts on “Work to Rest

  1. I love what you have said here. Even when I do pull away for quiet time, I don’t always just sit quiet to listen to God. I read and study His word, but I need to just sit and listen to Him speak to me. I’m always blessed when I do take that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “We tend to think that joy comes after, or as a result of, the trial being removed.” So many times I have had this exact mindset. I do agree that we have to purpose to rest. That is a weekly challenge that I give myself each week!

    Liked by 1 person

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