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Topic: Rest (06/14/04)
By Anita Thomas
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How do you get this spiritual rest? Jesus told us plainly, “Rest in me. I will take your burdens and set you free.” As Christians we need to believe this can happen. That Jesus can do this. He was not a man who bragged about what he could do. Everything he did, he did in the name of his Father. Even he needed rest. When he sought rest, he sought it in the Father. Since he is our truest example, this is where we should seek it also.
The question is, do we feel comfortable enough to do this? We may not, but just the same, this is where it lies. No one can do this for us. If our relationship with God is not right, then it is up to us to take the necessary steps to make it right. God is never far from us but we can drift away from him and not even realize it. After all we are only human. There is a little of the prodigal son in all of us. What happened in that story? The father had a great rejoicing party to welcome his son back. We must remember that God is our loving father and he will always welcome us back no matter what we have done. His grace and forgiveness is never-ending. Providing we are sincere, of course. Only he can see into our heart as a father can do. However we must trust him. Too often we judge his opinions as our own would be. We sometimes have trouble with forgiveness. And so we may unconsciously think he has this same problem. He doesn’t. He has faith and trust in us or he wouldn’t have given us free will in the first place.
He knows we need rest and he knows we can only find it completely in him. This however, may be a spiritual lesson that we have to learn. We can sometimes be very stubborn and have to learn things the hard way. This can cause us delays, frustrations and continuing unhappiness until we do learn this very valuable lesson.
If we have worries, un-confessed sin, doubt, anxiety, or rebelliousness in our heart, then the rest we need will not be forthcoming to us. So even logically, the first step will be to remove these things from our heart and soul. So once again, the answer is quite simple. Go to the heart of the matter, which is reconciliation with the Father. Only with peace in our soul, can we find complete rest.
The world itself, cannot offer us this. If we choose to try and find it there, we will be disappointed. We may have to live in the world but we do not have to conform to its standards. We only have to conform to God’s standards, which is love. Love covers a multitude of things. Rest is included in the essence of love.
If you need rest and we all do, then search for it in the right place.
Approach this problem with faith in your heart and the desire for mercy in your soul. Know that God wants this for you and will help you with this problem as he does with all your problems.
The greatest prayer we know was given to us, by Jesus himself. The Lord’s Prayer, if prayed faithfully and intensely, will give us great comfort and rest. Rest is there to help us continue in our journey towards God. This journey is what we are meant to do in our lives.
Again I must repeat, rest is necessary but only so we can regain our strength and determination to find God and to live our life loving him. Without this as our main goal, all the rest in the world will not benefit us in any dramatic way. It will only serve our body and not our soul. We need rest for our soul. This much is evident, that rest is only available in the grace of God. So consider this when you are searching for the rest you need. Resting in God is the answer. It is the only way.
Written by Anita Thomas