The Gift of Rest
God has given us a gift that many of us have a hard time accepting. The gift is not a toaster, paper shredder or an ugly sweater. It is not something that is frivolous or even something that is “practical"; the gift is something essential and life giving. The gift is rest; it is a deep sense of abiding love from God and a freedom to be secure in his finished work. The gift is freedom from having to prove our worth or value in what we do. What a gift to those of us who feel the pressure to be defined by our success or failure in our work.
We see God’s desire for us to rest in him throughout the scripture beginning with the Sabbath and God’s desire that we take a day of rest from our work; God’s desire is that we trust in how he provides. Jesus touches on this need for rest when he declares that we are to take his yoke upon us because it is easy and his burden is light. Even the book of Hebrews pleads with us to enter the rest of God that is found in the gospel. The desire of God is not that we strive more and define ourselves through our frantic activity, but instead that we are defined by his saving grace and redemptive love.
In today’s Bay Area culture, we’d do well to learn to rest and fight against the tendency to define ourselves through our work, which is why the gift of rest is important. Rest is not a call to do nothing, instead it is a gift to fully trust the Lord and the work that he has accomplished. It is a counter cultural statement and a declaration of who we trust. Likewise, taking time to rest from our work reminds us that we are not the ones who keep the world running and we are not the ones who provide for our families. Instead we have a sovereign God who frees us from anxiety and toil and any burden we have to prove ourselves through what we do.
Join us this Sunday in Adult Equipping as we explore how the gospel gives us a new power for our work because it frees us from having to gain our sense of self from work or to just be an agent of productivity. Find out this week how God’s gift of rest can help you more fully love and serve others through what you do. To prepare for this week you can read chapter 12 in Every Good Endeavor and explore Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15.