“Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
So here we are – entering another week of our order to stay home, shutter-in, and distance ourselves. By now you might be restless, stir crazy, on edge, and climbing the walls. You’ve cleaned out all your closets. You’ve rearranged your kitchen cabinets – twice. You’ve watched every old movie you can find. You’ve put together three 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles you discovered stored in your basement. You’ve kept Amazon and the postal service in business with online shopping. And you’re pretty sure you’ve worn out your welcome on Facebook and You Tube. Am I close to describing life for you the past few weeks?
So, here’s my question – how much time have you spent resting in your remote quarters? And I’m not talking about naps. Though I’m sure most of us have been sneaking those in. I’m talking about the sort of rest the bible refers to. Did you know that God’s word not only talks about rest, it encourages and sets a pattern for rest? Genesis chapter two is very clear that after God created the world, on the seventh day he rested. In Mark 6:31 Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest for awhile.” The word rest in both the Hebrew and Greek mean, “a purposeful time of relaxation.”
Rest is something God instructs his people to do. Jesus told us to come to him and “he will give us rest.” (Matthew 11:28). In Leviticus 25:3-5, God laid out his command to Israel that every seven years they were to take what he called The Lord’s Sabbath, or A Time of Rest. In that seventh year they were to do no planting, pruning, or storing away crops. Instead they were to give themselves and the land a year’s rest. To God, there is something very sacred about rest. Something so important that he makes rest a mandate. Rest is holy to God.
So, what are you doing to enjoy your sacred rest while shuttered-in? Allow me to offer a couple of suggestions. First, this rest is a perfect time to evaluate our prayer life. Perhaps our prayers have become regimented and routine. We recite the same thing over and over to God. We could do it in our sleep – and at times do. This rest we are now experiencing is affording us a great opportunity to examine and review how we are praying and what we are praying for. It is an occasion to reevaluate if we are praying in faith – or not. This rest is also an opportunity to get some answers from scripture that we have always wondered about. Ever wonder if a Christian can lose their salvation? Or what are the different names of God and what do they mean for us personally? Ever wonder exactly what a reprobate is? And then there’s the question about where Jesus was for those three days between his death and his resurrection? Don’t just wait for your pastor or bible teacher to answer your questions for you. Dig into the word of God. Do some research; there are a multitude of resources out there.
I encourage you to take a true sacred rest and do some spiritual evaluation about the value of God’s word and prayer in your life. Perhaps this is exactly why we have been given this gift of time to do so.