“When do you sleep?” The question from a church member came when I was needing rest.
My friend knew I taught school full-time, pastored part-time, wrote and freelance edited in my spare time—which often appeared piecemeal throughout the day or in the early morning hours. On top of that, I manage three websites, and, besides that, I have a wife, children, and grandchildren. As Thanksgiving approached, I desperately needed rest.
Teachers at our school long for the Thanksgiving holidays. Only a few days off dot the calendar between Labor Day and Thanksgiving break. By the time the Thanksgiving holidays roll around, my nerves are shot, the kids are anxious, and I need some downtime.
Rest is enjoyable and required for good spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Like many others, I don’t get enough of it, in part because I’m bad about loading too many duties on my plate. Good things, mind you—just too many of them.
The Bible speaks of several types of rest. But the rest these rebellious former slaves would not enter was a different variety. Heaven was its name. They had followed Moses out of Egyptian slavery but repeatedly rebelled against God in the wilderness. Except for a few of them, the entire generation who left Egypt perished in the wilderness because of unbelief. They never experienced the rest of the Promised Land, a foreshadowing of heaven. They only rested in their graves.
God’s ultimate rest is heaven, but if we stubbornly refuse to admit and confess our sins, we won’t ever experience the rest God wants us so desperately to enjoy. Heaven is only for those who repent of their sins and turn in God’s direction.
I look forward to that rest—not that I think we’ll sit around on clouds all day and play our harps. While living on earth is enjoyable, it’s also tiring. The challenges, brokenness, sin, and struggles will overwhelm us.
We can, however, experience God’s rest as we await heaven. Jesus said He gives abundant (restful) life now and in eternity. As we seek, depend upon, and believe in God’s daily guidance and care, we enter His rest—the peace of knowing all is well with our souls because we’re God’s children, and He’s our Savior.
Have you entered God’s rest? His rest is available for all who will simply trust Him—for salvation and for daily peace.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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