copyright 2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
Rest. Quiet, quietness, ease, tranquility, slumber, calm, calmness, peace, peacefulness, relaxation, recreation, state of inactivity, interval, hush, stillness, stop, stay, to be supported, upheld, cease from exertion, to refresh oneself or recover strength, not agitated or troubled, relieve or reassure. These are a few of the words in the dictionary and thesaurus that define rest, both as a verb and as a noun. Don’t they sound nice? They make you want to find a spot in which to repose and have a cup of tea.
I’ve been contemplating rest this week and have had a few interesting thoughts along the way. On Saturday, as I was driving Abby to ballet, I passed by a garage sale. I saw a chair. Not just any chair but a chair that Kelly and I have been looking/waiting/praying in for almost a year now. Kelly has not had a ‘chair’ in our home for a number of years. We ditched the one he came with after it collapsed. After we refinished our floors last summer we set out on a quest to find him a chair that he could sit in as we drink our tea late at night when the house is quiet. We’ve left a spot in the living room for it. We researched the on-line catalogues to find what he wanted. It was expensive. A few weeks ago we found a similar chair that was less expensive but the wrong colour. I really wanted to get him his own chair. Then I passed by this garage sale. The chair was sitting in the driveway, it was extremely inexpensive and very much what we’d been looking for. He was very excited when I brought it in. He’d been paying bills while I was away and getting a little uptight. He had just fought his way back to a place of rest in his spirit when I showed up with a place of rest for his backside. It was very fun.
On Monday a friend called to offer us another place of rest. A bed. At first I thought we didn’t really need another bed but when she described it to me I thought we should probably take a look at it. We haven’t seen it yet but it seems to be fitting a pattern for me.
As we anticipate the opportunity to move we’ve had to think a lot about where our kids will rest at night. What are the best possible combinations so that everyone will get the sleep they need and have a place of rest during the day?
I have been working hard at trying to be at rest about the house situation. As I’m writing this our house is not yet sold. I really want this whole transaction to be done but I have no control over it, I must rest, as in ‘not agitated or troubled’. So today I thought I’d take some time to research the word in the dictionary, thesaurus and in the scriptures. I already shared what I found in the first two. I’ll share what I found in the scripture and let you draw your own conclusions about the rest that you need today.
What can rest ON us:
*unfailing love (Psalm 33:22)
*favor of the Lord (Psalm 90:17)
*Spirit of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)
*Christ’s power (2 Corinthians 12:9)
What can we rest FROM?
*labour (think Sabbath rest)
*life – the scripture comments about those who have gone to be with the Lord being at rest
Where can we find rest?
*at the end of life – rest from our labour on this earth (Job 3:17, Deuteronomy 31:16)
*in knowledge of God’s care (Psalm 16:9)
*in God alone (Psalm 62:1, 5)
*if we dwell with Him we find rest in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:1)
*in choosing and walking in the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16)
*in Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
*after obedience (Joshuah 21:44)
In repentance and rest we find salvation! (Isaiah 30:15)
Rest came after:
*life was over
*on the 7th day
Random Thoughts:*The sea cannot find rest because there is never a cessation of motion. (Isaiah 57:20)
*Hebrew 4 exhorts us to do all we can to enter into God’s rest.
*Matthew 11:28 beckons us to come to Jesus with our weariness and heavy burdens so that He can give us rest.
*Rest is a gift and yet is something we must look for.
*It can be withheld if we choose to be rebellious against the Lord. (Exodus 17 is the example and then Psalm 95:11 says how God felt about the Israelite rebellion)
*David was a man of war and the Lord would not let him build a house for His name, it was his son Solomon, a man of ‘peace and rest’ (see 1 Chronicles 22:9) that was given that privilege. (afterthought – being of the Anabaptist heritage in which peace-keeping/no arms is a foundational element makes me wonder if those who have chosen to NOT bear arms, all those, not just Mennonites, will have a special commission from the Lord in the rebuilding of the Davidic tabernacle – just a thought)
That’s all I have, happy pondering…