The Bible has much to say about the importance of peace and rest, yet those very things seem to be in short supply and not just in my life, but in the world at large.
Why, if peace and rest are what we seek and need, are they so hard to come by? Why, when I wake up in the morning determined to begin my day spending time in prayer, do I in a matter of minutes or a hour at best find my life in such a rush? Is it just me? As I have read others’ blogs and listen to other people talk this past week I know this lack of peace and rest is everywhere. At least I know I’m not alone in this fight and it is a fight. Too often though, I find myself fighting the wrong enemy. I find myself upset with people or things that I love to do or need to do.
I need to do water aerobic for my health and strength, but it takes time. I need and want to work on my Sunday School lesson, but it takes time. I need to read my assigned chapters in my Unglued book, but it takes time. I want to talk to people on facebook, but it takes time. I want to spend time with family and friends, but it takes time. This list just goes on and on. I’m sure your’s looks the same or worse. At least I don’t have a job to get up and go to each day! Or children to care for!
I want and need to make changes in my life. I want to simplify. I just don’t know how. I am sure of one thing – this is not God’s ideal for life.
The Bible says that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In the Old Testament God command that His people set aside a day of rest, a day when NO work was done, a day called the Sabbath. I can see why God did that. Christians are not under the Law of Moses as in the Old Testament, but God gave the command to rest long before the Law of Moses. Of course those who don’t even believe in God don’t even realize they need this Rest. However, as a child I can remember my grandpa saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. I have no clue who Jack was, but I knew Jack wasn’t playing. Grandpa, I know, was just saying you can’t always be working.
Why did God make a day of rest a command?
I have a car that came with an owner’s manual. The owner’s manual was put into my car’s glove box by the car’s Maker to tell me how to take care of my car so it would last a long time. It tells me what type of gasoline to put in the tank. It tells me the tire pressure. It tells me when to change the oil, when to get it tune and when to replace belts, etc. Gasoline is pretty high. I could decide to mix half gasoline and half water and put into my tank. There is no law against that. It wouldn’t work of course. We all know that. So, that owner’s manual is there to show me what to do to care for my car. Really that is what the Bible does too. The Bible is not a book of nice sayings, neither is it a book meant to beat people over the head. It is a manual for life. When I follow the Maker’s instructions, life goes more smoothly. When I don’t, it is like trying to mix gasoline and water to put into my car.
God wants me to rest for my good. I don’t mean just sleep. I mean rest for my body, my mind and my spirit. Rest! Rest will bring with it a peace. Jesus said, ‘Peace, I give to you, not as the world gives, give I to you.’ I’ll find my peace when I find my time of rest in Jesus. I find my peace when I put first things first. Time to rest in God is the first place to start. When I spend time resting in the presence of the God of all creation, my Creator, my Father, He takes care of me.