Day 31: True Rest – the Beginning to Never Needing

fall roadThe month of October has sped by and I feel like I’ve barely touched on the topic of rest. I think I was hoping to uncover some secret to feeling at rest, but instead, I ended up frazzled and stretched throughout the whole month.

Much like I wrote in the very first post for this series, Called to Rest, I long for the break. In this case, the end of the month. Here’s what I said 31 days ago:

We spend so much of our lives striving for something. We work to fit in with peers, we fill our calendars with events, we climb the corporate ladder…But how many of us, when the day is done and the party is over and we’re finally alone in our homes, are just plain worn out? We kick off our shoes and get into some comfy sweats and sigh deeply. We long for the weekends, vacation, a holiday or just a day off, but even then we fill those to the brim, finally exclaiming, “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

I’m starting to wonder if we really ever do feel at rest, completely rested in this life. The success of that involves us totally surrendering our lives and schedules, hopes and dreams on the Lord. But since my sinful heart continually fights to grasp at control of my life, it only comes in bits and spurts. Moments of peace, seconds of rest. A Sabbath here and there.

It’s good to want the rest, but it becomes tarnished when rest becomes an idol consuming our days.

The reward may not be in the resting after all. The goal may be the One in whom we rest. That desire we all have for rest may be a longing for Heaven and home with God.

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like a night is waiting for a dawn

The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It’s good to be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope
A little more alive

This is such a fun song with which to close out the month, from my Canadian friends again.

Every prayer I say (a little closer)
To my resting place (a little closer)
Where my final breath
Is the beginning
To never needing
And I will find my last Amen.

Doesn’t that sound like true rest – the beginning to never needing? Total, 100% surrender to God, trusting him absolutely?

Rest indeed.

Until we reach that last Amen of true rest, continue to give up those bits of crazy in your life to find glimpses of rest. Keep reminding each other to surrender control, to trust God, and to rest in Him. Encourage “one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13

If you want to a little further reading on rest, take a look at Hebrews 3-4, comparing the Israelites who were not allowed to enter God’s rest with those who believe and are allowed to enter His rest.

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…

Thank you for journeying with me through 31 Days of Rest. I pray that you find that true rest.

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Day 5: Sabbath Rest

Sabbath

I had the amazing opportunity to go to Israel in 1996 with my Mom and, like, 998 other people – we were part of a 1,000 voice choir singing in various historic places around Jerusalem as part of the 3000 anniversary of Jerusalem being named the capital of Israel by King David. NBD. Okay, it was awesome.

One of the minor details that stuck with me was the bank of elevators in our hotel. It was a huge hotel with four towers of rooms, and I think I remember 8 elevators in the main wing. But one elevator was labeled a Shabbat elevator, with a note that indicated it would stop at every floor during Shabbat. Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath.

What this meant is that during the hours of Sabbath, the elevator would automatically stop for each floor, so that an Orthodox Jew observing Shabbat would not have to push a button, which could be considered work (or the using of electricity could create a tiny spark which is the equivalent of kindling a fire or the electricity could close a circuit as equal to building something), which is not allowed during Shabbat.

Now, I don’t say all this to go into debate about whether or not an elevator should be used. But one reason the elevator stuck in my mind is because the Jewish people remember the command. They observe Sabbath – a ceasing of work, a remembering, a resting.

I was really excited to find out that Aarik Danielsen will be preaching this Sunday on the Sabbath, not the verse from the 10 Commandments, but later on, Exodus 31:12-18.

12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

18 And he gave to Moses, when he had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Now I want to be honest and say that when I first planned out this series on rest, I did not even think about the Sabbath. But this passage clearly indicates a day of solemn rest that is holy to the Lord.

I know Aarik has put hours of study into preparing for Sunday’s sermon, part of our Set Free series in Karis Church, so I’m not even going to go further with this post. I just wanted you to start thinking about the Sabbath and rest, as I did when I heard about the sermon. I’ll have a follow-up post where I share some things I learned and link to the audio from the sermon.

Praying you have a restful Sunday.
Blessings.

31Days_Rest_thumb ←Click to find links to each day in the series.

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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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