This is part two of the rest series originally published in Arkansas Baptist News.
Recently I shared that God has been teaching me a good deal about rest. I love that the learning never stops. He builds on each lesson, continually growing me. The more I learn, the more I see how much I have left to learn.
Discovering the depths of rest is no exception.
In addition to the surprising lesson that rest is relational, God is showing me more and more that rest is expected. I suppose in the true nature of biblical instruction, I should say that rest is commanded, for that is the reality. Either way, rest is not an option.
But I am just beginning to understand why God expects us to take rest seriously.
What keeps us from resting?
I asked myself that question recently, and I was not too fond of the answer: a lack of trust prevents my rest.
Far too often, I resemble the children of Israel wandering in the desert. They grumbled about the lack of food. So, God sent them manna. But, He told them to collect the manna in a certain way. Five days out of every week they were commanded to collect only what they needed for that day. On the sixth day, their collection was to be enough for two days.
It was illogical. It was improbable. Why would manna that did not last more than twenty-four hours five days a week last forty-eight hours on the sixth day? Had I been among the Israelites, I probably would have obeyed. But I can guarantee you I would have been very skeptical that first week. Even if I took God at His word, it would not have been easy.
But He said to rest on the Sabbath. And He never gives a command or holds an expectation without providing the means for obedience.
That is as true for me today as it was for the Israelites then. God expects me to rest, and He will always provide the way for me to accomplish it.
What about the work I am behind on? What about the little things that have not been done during the week because of other obligations? What about the expectations upon me? What if I let someone down? What if I do not get something done?
Yes, God even has provision for those.
If I choose to not rest, it is because I do not trust Him to take care of everything just as He said He would. And believe me, it feels as improbable, illogical, and unlikely as the preservation of manna. But it is just as expected for me as it was for them.
May we trust Him enough to obey and rest.