Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Chance to Get Away

Every summer growing up, my brother and I would visit our grandparents at their home in Delaware just outside of Rehoboth Beach.  We'd play in the sand, challenge the waves, and feast on blue crab.  My uncle decided that for her 90th birthday this year he would take her back one last time. 

In a rare moment of camaraderie and cooperation among Banks men, my dad, my brother, and I decided to join them.  It will be an adventure.

This has made me think about the value of rest in the life of the believer.  It is a biblical principle.  Genesis 1 tells us that God rested on the seventh day not because He was tired but so that we would have a template for how our lives should be ordered.  He deemed the idea critical enough to codify it in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8).  

What I mean is, you can work seven days a week if you want but if you set one aside, your life will, if nothing less, function more efficiently.  Machines and organisms work better when they operate according to their design.  God designed you to work and to rest but is it just about being more efficient?

The author of Hebrews picks up on this concept in chapter 4.  In v. 9 he says, "There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God."  He's referring to heaven and, in doing so, inadvertently teaches us something about the nature of rest itself. 

There's a theological concept called, "already/not yet."  Simply put, we have already received the benefits of our salvation but we are yet to fully experience them.  When we cross into eternity, we will feast forever on what we only taste today.

Rest means something different for everyone.  For me it's a couch and a TV but that's not God's idea of rest.  Heaven is often called our final resting place but that doesn't mean all activity will cease.  There will be things for us to do.  Namely, we will spend our time worshiping God.

My point is is that getting alone with the Lord to read His Word and pray, worshiping Him, is a taste of heaven and, thus, just like heaven will be in the future, a time of rest.  

Don't get me wrong.  Hitting the beach or the mountains or whatever refreshes you is wonderful but know that rest is available to you at any time.  It's easier said than done but all you have to do is carve out space to be with God, just you and Him.  He will do you more good than a thousand vacations ever could.

Reading the Word is rest.  Prayer is rest.  It may not feel like it right away.  We come to Christ like we do everything else, with the weight of our respective worlds in tow.  For the first few minutes, your brain will race but give it time.  It will quiet down.  Your soul will still and you will know what it means to be with Jesus.

A word of warning: when you are with the Lord, He will change you.  People will see Christ in you and experience Christ through you.  When you discover how restful time with Jesus is, time with you will be restful to others.  You will become a cup of cold water on a hot day and I genuinely believe that is God's will for all of us.  It will change how you see your life.  Find time to be with Jesus then watch Him use you to be Jesus to someone else.

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