Thursday, December 17, 2009

His Rest

“…God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today.” Hebrews 4:7

Rest. Peace. Ease. Refreshment. Sleep. Relief from anything distressing. Inactivity. Mental and emotional calm. Tranquillity. It can also be defined as a place of shelter. Something that offers support. Silence or pause in a piece of music. What is left after part is taken away. Remainder.

If your life is anything like mine right now, it is not characterized by rest. Chaos and stress may better define your days. Hurried and harassed, your worn, worry and weary are fuelling exhaustion. The Christmas season is anything but restful.

Shopping. Wrapping. Writing. Mailing. Cooking. Preparing. Decorating. Cleaning. Visiting. Hosting. Going. Doing. No time for slowing and stopping. Robbed of rest we become discouraged and overwhelmed. Difficulties momentarily overshadow the reality of God’s presence, power, peace and promises. Uncertainties and unexpected arrive unannounced and we are unprepared.

How I long for rest, not only personally, but for several dear friends. Rest from the burden of care. Rest from the pain of separation. Rest from the ache of loss. Rest from the anxiety of the unknown. Rest from the doubt of possibility. Rest from the longing for love. Rest from the uncertainty of the economic situation. Rest from the concern over children. Rest from the strain of caring for elderly parents. Rest from the challenges in waking up every morning. Rest from the fear of failure. Rest from expectations, real and imagined.

A precious friend’s e-mail yesterday expressed this yearning for release. She wrote: “I am so weary and worn. I just want a week off from no trials and just enjoy the holiday, can you relate? I feel like I am too tired to even worry…I just want to go to sleep.”

Another friend writes of being "overwhelmed", her "mind cluttered", "crying for no reason", not understanding herself, and wondering if she is all alone. "I'm working a lot. Finances are tight. Everyone needs me and I'm depleted...I have too much on my plate."

Even early this morning I have read of three other friends expressing the following: "I need some sustaining now...The travel from last week has caught up with me." "I found myself thinking to myself alot yesterday 'WHY ME?! Why do I have to be the one that is going through this, especially right now at Christmas?' Why did God ask me to do this extremely hard thing?" "I have been up praying for my life."

We can know earthly rest, eternal rest and everlasting rest. Lord, I pray that You will fill my friends with peace that passes understanding. Your Word says that You give your beloved rest. Lord, may these dear ones trust in Your strength to enable them to let go and trust completely in You. In the midst of todays trials, may Your Spirit minister bringing hope and encouragement. Resign all into His hands. What seems difficult now is part of His plan. May God reveal Himself to you in new ways. Do not be afraid. Hold firmly to His Word. Do not walk the path of human reason. You are in His embrace. As I was so wonderfully reminded this morning, "He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command" Hebrews 1:3.

Let Him sustain you. The time to enter His rest is today. Leaning on Him, be still.

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Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Joy, I didn't write any of those letters to you but I COULD have! ha They described so much of how I'm feeling right now also. Overwhelmed. Mind cluttered. Stressed. It just came to me though. I wonder if Mary was feeling a little she prepared to not only deliver her first child...the Saviour of the world....but having to travel miles and miles on horseback in this condition. Well...I guess while writing this comment I've begun to feel better! :)

Thank you my friend for always making me THINK!

Love you. Mississippi

Lori said...

Love you Joy! Thank you for writing what I needed to hear this morning!
Hugs, Lori - AZ

Brandee said...

Thank you for this Joy! I needed this this morning. I just did my own post on my health blog about what I am struggling with this week. Love you sister, thank you for helping us refocus on Christ and also have the freedom to share our pains.

Brandee, TN

Elle Elle said...

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace" Isaiah 55

God's peace is joy resting. His joy is peace dancing.

Are these words not like balm today..the soothing cool that calms the sting...oh yes, my friends, God with his precise timing and ultimate all-encompassing wisdom has led each of us us to remember today that we need to spend time resting in him. To be still before him and to listen.

How would his To Do list for us read?

Thanks for directing us here, Joy. I was enriched by your ponderings.

God's gracious blessing be with you, and may the spirit continue to dwell in you richly!


~Grace and Peace said...

Rest today. That's what God wants ut to do.

But far too often, we entertain the enemy of our souls by spinning to do this, that and the other. And he and his minions are laughing in glee as we, the children of God, get all discombobulated. We need to refocus. This season is not about buying, shopping, wrapping, cleaning (especially not cleaning). It's about Jesus. He came so we may rest.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Somehow, just knowing that there are others struggling with "rest" brings my heart comfort this night.

Cold and rainy over here, and I am very tired. Nothing good on Hallmark tonight; I think I'll continue in my recent read, "the sacred echo" by Margaret Feinberg. Fantastic read, Joy! I think you'd love it.