“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” (Psalms 37:7 – New King James Version)
The word “Rest” has both inviting and unappealing connotations associated with it. In our busy world we find it challenging to rest when we need to. How many times have I heard a doctor say, “You need to get plenty of rest?” And yet, at this request I find that I have a long list of valid reasons why rest is not possible for me. Who will pick-up the children? Who will do the grocery shopping? Who will make our meal? Who will facilitate homework? Who will bring order to the clutter that lurks around so many corners? And the list of reasons goes on and on…
The rest our Lord calls us to is not to stop all activity and perch ourselves under a large oak tree, in the coziness of a soft hammock indefinitely. Strong’s Concordance defines “Rest” in Psalms 37:7 as: to stop, to cease, to forbear, to hold peace, to quiet oneself, to be silent, to stand or be still, to tarry, and to wait. Our minds, a part of the soul, provide the strongest resistance to what God calls us to, whether it be rest or any other biblical command. It seems that God understands how difficult it is to keep our minds stayed on Him. After all, if He was not aware of the challenge, He would not call for us to quiet ourselves or keep our minds stayed on Him. Much of Scripture speaks to our minds, cajoling us to bring our mental attention back to Him. I am so thankful that He has compassion on me, by understanding that each day brings untold distractions which seek to capture my attention. It is in this understanding that He gently beckons my mind to rest in Him.
The resting God desires for us is both active and inactive. I believe that we are wise when we make time to quiet ourselves, silence our minds, still our hearts, and wait on the Lord. It is in this sweet place that we learn to hear His voice; as well as, receive strength and encouragement for the day. Additionally, as I quiet myself in His presence, waiting on Him to speak to my heart, I gain sensitivity to His voice within the busyness of my day. In the stillness of waiting on Him, we can more easily train our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Without the quiet training, our ears may be less equipped to hear Him when life is roaring around us. I believe that the Lord calls us to physical rest in His presence, which then equips our souls to “Rest” in Him during our busy days. Accordingly, the inactive rest in His presence seems necessary in order to more readily “Rest” in His presence, in the midst of our daily activities.
I pray for you today, that your heart will be filled with joy as you consider that Jesus is well acquainted with the many things that seek to capture your attention. Isn’t it awesome that Jesus has compassion on us, and that His compassion is given to us with full understanding of everything about us? Wow! In thinking about the reality that He fully understands me and still offers compassion to me, I long to sit on His lap and let Him wrap His arms around me! : ) So, be encouraged today that our Lord so longs to speak to your heart, to encourage you, to direct your steps, and to remind you of His tender love. May you be strengthened to quiet yourself, listen for His voice, and then know that He and His voice are with you wherever you are, and in whatever task you find yourself. May you find rest for your soul today, as you patiently wait for Him.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.” (Psalms 62:1)
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalms 62:5)