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God Is Serious About Rest

I am too. I love to take a long nap on Sundays, and a 15 minute afternoon nap is a luxury I rarely receive but from which I genuinely benefit. I don’t need convincing when it comes to the benefit of rest. Except when I am really, really busy…there seems to be no time to rest. That has been the case the last few weeks.

It has been one of those seasons where there just hasn’t been a letup inthe responsibilities I need to fulfill. They are all good things that I’mcalled to do, so there was not a question of letting anything go. I’vegot to tell you, rest was not on my mind when I was planning my week and my strategyfor how to get it all done. Once again, I relied on the power of the Holy Spiritto do it through me and the amazing resource God has gifted me with in my husband.But I was absolutely not open to rest as a strategy for accomplishing a lot forGod.

However, that was not God’s plan. Right in the middle of a strategic timefor many of the projects, I was called to attend a mandatory retreat for thechurch staff. I tried not to be anxious that the timing could not have been worsefor my ministry and that I had to make extra arrangements to cover everythingon the day chosen. I wanted to have a positive attitude about it all and knewthat everyone’s life cannot center around my needs. I mustered all thematurity I was capable of to come up with a positive and open attitude towardthe retreat and trusted that God would make up for the lost time. I knew I couldnot do it without His help in the first place.

What utterly amazed me was how important that day of rest was for me. It waswork in a sense, but it was a day that pulled me away from the projects and plansthat I had been focusing on for weeks. The day of pulling away proved to be extremelyrenewing and refreshing to my spirit. I discovered anew that God is very seriousabout rest. He rewards us when we follow His instructions, which are all forour benefit anyway. He watches our rest, ever mindful of our needs.

He even had the prophet Ezekiel explain that one of the reasons for Israel’sdoom after it was conquered by Babylon was the refusal of the Israelites to rest.Ezekiel 20:24, Because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decreesand desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their fathers’ idols. Iregularly practice rest on Sundays. I started in obedience, but have moved toknowing my Sabbath rest is the basic tenant to my survival guide for this earth.God knew I had more going on than just the regular amount so He gave me two daysof rest this past week. Although I didn’t know how it could benefit me,it did wonders for my soul. The Maker of your soul made you to benefit greatlyby resting from your labor and taking in His Majesty in a deeper way. Do youknow how serious God is about rest? Are you having a hard time getting accomplishedeverything you need to get done? Perhaps you need to start with honoring Godand resting.

 

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