Resting Place

For the next two weeks, these blogs will be little “quickies, as my wife and I are vacationing in Florida.  Very good friends of ours spend the winters in the western part of the state and own two cars that they bring back to Massachusetts each summer.  We fly down to visit with them for about a week and then we drive one their cars home for them.  This year we were also able to meet with several people who lived in our old neighborhoods and who went to school with us.  We had a great time catching up and reminiscing.  And resting–especially resting!

                                     

Prior to leaving, my wife and I had been straight out painting our cellar, painting a bedroom at my sister’s house, painting a playroom at our local hospital and helping my sister-in-law move to a new apartment.  Twenty years ago, all that would be a piece of cake.  Now, at nearly 65, I we find such busyness very tiring.  Whether we realize it or not, such physical fatigue can begin to affect our spiritual life as well.

There was a reason, that God set the precedent of resting on the seventh day.  He wasn’t tired, but he knew that we would be.  Too many people work five to seven days a week and then try to do all the projects that they have put off until the weekend on whatever other available days they have.  Doing this often leaves us too tired to maintain our devotions, read our Bible, or gather together with other Christians.  Even if we attempt to do all of these spiritual activities, our physical fatigue can make it impossible to get as much out them as we should.

As believers, we have a guarantee of the rest that we need.  Others do not have this guarantee.

For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,'” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world  (Hebrews 4:3).

For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, ju st as God did after creating the world (Hebrews 4:10).

So follow His example and become rested in every way.

When God Seems Silent

The LORD remains near to all who call out to him, to everyone who calls out to him sincerely. (Psalm 145:18)

Why is it that we seem to ignore God until something in our little world starts to fall apart?  D.L Moody believed that there are three kinds of faith in Jesus: struggling faith (like a man floundering and fearful in deep water; clinging faith (like a man clinging to the side of a boat); and resting faith (like a man safe inside the boat–strong and secure enough to reach out his hand to help others).

But how we get there when the trials and challenges of this life seem about to overwhelm us?  Only by staying in tune with God on a daily basis and by believing in God’s faithfulness enough to trust Him.  It’s not always easy to maintain that faith or to clearly hear what He is saying.  The world we live in is constantly clamoring and trying to attract us to fill our lives with what it has to offer.  And don’t let anyone kid you–what it offers is very attractive.

When Elijah was at his wit’s end, he cried out to God thinking that he was the last man left on earth to serve Him.  “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.  And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-12)  There, in the quietness, God told Elijah what to do and reminded him that he was not alone.  The wind, the earthquake, the fire–in the world these are the type of things that attract our attention.  But in God’s plan, it is in the moment of quiet trust that He makes known His plans for us.

These words were found on a prison cell in Europe:  I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.  I believe in love even when I don’t feel it.  And I believe in God even when He is silent.  Can we do any less?