by Dr. Matthew Harding, Pastor, The WELL Community Church
As much as I admire people all around me – incredible people like teachers, policeman, meter maids, bakers of fine breads and doughnuts (#underrated), those guys who climb 1,500 foot tall radio towers with only an itty-bitty harness, coast guard rescue swimmers in the Bering Straight who rescue drunk crab fishermen, and then those truly special, tougher than “Green Beret” types of people, those who have the hardest jobs on earth . . . you know . . . mothers, and most especially those ever-giving and thankless heroines of our community, mothers of little children – I have never truly met in them a superman or a superwoman, or even a “supergirl” for that matter (sorry CBS).
Why not, you ask? Well, everyone I meet from the most common to the most outstanding, from the most unassuming to those types who actually run marathons on purpose (#eatmoredoughnuts), and then all of us in-between – all of us have something in common that is not very “super” at all . . . we all need REST!
All of us run out of steam at some point. We all get weary, tired, and run down from the never-ending cycles of “life” like school, homework, jobs, parenting, sports, taking kids to sports, taxes, sickness, work, mowing the grass, and more taxes. Sound familiar? Then, we “Rinse and Repeat.” The cycle is never-ending and brutal on our physical and spiritual lives. Life is hard and even when some of us think we are superhuman or when others expect us to be, we all need real, uninterrupted, REST. Why is that? Why do we get tired? Why do we mere humans need sleep and deep, restoring rest?
Our incredibly creative God above could have created us with instant recharging, internal batteries – so that we would never tire, never stop, never give up, and never have to close our eyes. I mean, if we put that never-ending energy into spiritual things like worship, service, ministering to others, loving people really, really well… wouldn’t that make more sense to God who is accomplishing His purpose on the earth??
What if we were on non-stop praise mode toward God? Wouldn’t it seem that God would like that in us? Yet, we aren’t like that at all. We wake up, get dressed, get busy, get dog-tired, and then crash on the bed. God in His perfect wisdom created us to reflect His glory and wonder and He made us so that we HAVE to slow down at times, so that we have to yield to ceasing, to stopping, to truly resting, and then to slumbering sleep. Actually, God demands that we rest (Exodus 20:9)!
He created us to NEED to rest so that we would always be reminded on this earth that we are NOT superhuman . . . but rather we are just, you know, human-human. We are all needy, all broken-down at times; all of us require rest and God’s great gift to mankind . . . peaceful sleep. God created us to need God (and His Son Jesus, #superhuman), and need spiritual rest and renewal, and times, to just chill out!
So, my friend, as you read this most stimulating article on rest, allow me to encourage you that God wants you (and your family) to actually rest, to take a break from the ordinary and allow your body, mind, and especially your spirit to rest deeply in Him. I call that a “vacation!”
Whether you stay at home this summer and change up your hectic, non-stop schedule or if you purpose to have a “stay-cation” with your family in town, or if you get away from all this and finally do that cruise you have always been talking about… well, do it, my friend, run away, escape, and “make hay while the sun shines.”
Either way, let me urge you to make time for yourself to REST and know that in that rest from the busyness, craziness, chaos-laden life you lead . . . that God is pleased! God is pleased in your vacation from the ordinary. God is calling you to rest and to rest in Him. What a thought! God wants you to vacation and to enjoy Him in all His splendor whether here or to the great beyond . . .you know, Hawaiian Falls Waterpark.
And remember, as believers in Christ, “we who have believed enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:3). Why? Because Jesus calls us into resting in Himself when He declares, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.” (Matthew 11:28-29). May God grant you the greatest season of rest this summer as you seek solace in Him and catch up on some much needed repose and biblical napping! Amen and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!
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