In the Rest (Part 1) we discussed the The Pilgrims Progress and Christian’s arrival at the arbor.
“About halfway up the hill was a pleasant arbor
made by the Lord of the hill for the refreshment
of weary travelers. When he got there, he sat
down to rest. He pulled his roll out of his coat
and read it; it gave him great comfort….
The story gives a painful reminder that the places of rest in whatever the form are not the destination. They are markers along the way or things that God graciously gives you to walk along the way until we get to whatever the destination is we need to go.
The question I have is HOW? How do you rest? I watch my kids and note a clear lesson from them that I think God is using for me: the more tired they are, the harder it is for them to go to sleep. Everything turns into a struggle and it is full of paradox; GK Chesterton would be impressed. The more they want to go to sleep the more likely they find something that keeps them awake. Blankets are not in the right order. Drinks of water turn into frustrations. “I don’t want to go to sleep!” is in stark distinction to their little faces barely being able to stay up. Sleep has come upon them but they are so tired they forgot how easy it is to do so.
It just takes a few odd notes in the rhythm of life to create a need to rest. The noise in our heads too loud to decipher and break down. The mountain in front of you seems to high but you are to far up to turn around. Like David in his Psalms so often the ground beneath your step gives to easily. Or perhaps you just slipped. Strain results and excessive strain leads to aching of your very person. Only rest can ameliorate every pain.
HOW do you rest when you’re too tired to rest?
In the middle of a group of people’s vicious cycle of restlessness Jesus announced the words:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NET)
How to rest is found at a person who can give rest. Which immediately gives us another part of the incredible character of God. The same God that tells storms to rest can do the same thing for humanity too. Let that settle in…
While God could conceivably tell every struggle and storm in our life to go to sleep He does the opposite….He tells us to go to “rest.”