There has been a reoccurring theme in my conversations with God lately. A theme that I have not been able to ignore. He has been relentless at getting my attention regarding the importance of rest. The Holy Spirit has been tugging at my soul and whispering in my heart that in order to continue on, rest must come first.
God's version of rest, I am learning, is not the same thing as lazy - as much as part of me would like to be. Perhaps that has been my guilt or reluctance in resting, I fear I will be swallowed up in my nature and fill my days with excuses to be lazy. However, I know this is not the type of rest that God is calling me/us to. There is to be purpose and intention with the rest that God gives.
Resting means I rely on Him. Resting means that I trust Him. Resting means that it isn't all about me. Resting means that He will renew my strength and will cause me soar on wings like eagles. Resting means I can connect with the Source and become alive once more. Resting means I pause and celebrate all that God has done and is doing.
God modelled rest for us. "So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation." Genesis 2:1-3
God mandated rest when He placed it in the commandments that were not to be broken. The 10 things that God said - this is how you should live in order to honour me. He said "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy." Exodus 20:8-11
As He interacted with the nation of Israel God gave importance to seasons of rest, by requiring the entire nation to follow yearly celebrations so that they would learn to rest, remember and celebrate. These seasons of rest included - the regular once a week pause on everything, then there were the 7 times a year, where for weeks at a time the people would pause from their work. If I thought I could get away with sloppy restful seasons, God throws in one more season of rest that stumps me. For an entire year, every 50 years, everything stopped. No planting, no harvesting, no working - only what was necessary FOR A YEAR! Talk about courage and relying on God that He is faithful!
Why do I think I can get away with running around all the time on empty? Why do I think that I can make it through with small gulps of rest when God clearly sees that we need so much more? We need to slow down so that can see Him, hear Him, rely on Him and wait on Him. We rest so that we see realize it is Him we are seeking, serving and living for - it's not about me, my talent, my abilities, my energy it is ALL ABOUT HIM!
In order to honor and love our many volunteers who serve wholeheartedly - for the month of August - Christ's Kids Sr and sometimes Jr will not run. In order to refresh and renew for the new season of ministry of ahead we are slowing down and taking a month to rest and prepare, to celebrate and rejoice, to seek and find Him everywhere.
Perhaps you will join me in this season of rest? I'd love to hear how you met God, how you heard from him, where He opened your eyes to see Him better. I'll fill you all in a few weeks with my journey in attempting a season of rest...