Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rest - What does it MEAN?

I've been struggling with this for a few days now. On Thursday night, God was very clear in telling me that I am supposed to rest. Without getting into specifics, He used multiple means in a condensed period of time, stating: REST. I got the picture... but was very confused as to what it meant.

So first I mulled it over.
Then I started talking to God about it.
Then I read a little about it in the Bible.
Then I journaled it.
Then I talked to friends about it.
Then I mulled it over again.
Then I Googled it. (Google is the answer to everything!)

Here's the problem. When I hear "rest," I tend to think... "Stop doing what you're doing. If you're leading something, take a break. If you're holding something, put it down." But that train of thought frustrated me in two ways; 1-I really don't feel like God is telling me to stop doing ministry, etc., and I know I have to keep my job to pay the little things like the mortgage, so why would He then say to stop everything; and 2-while I was reading about David and Solomon, God was very clear that the kingdom of Israel would be at rest while Solomon was king. He would be a king of rest and peace. Problem is, even though he didn't have to fight a war or anything, he still had to lead a country. He had to judge. He couldn't just take a month and say, "NAH - I don't feel like leading.. I need a break."

So what the heck does "rest" really mean???

So tonight, on my way home, I started to think about it. What if "Rest" doesn't mean "STOP." What if it means something deeper than that... a little more profound..and intense? What if it means, "Rest in the Lord." Now that is something I may be able to sink my teeth into.

After reading my Bible tonight, I hopped on the google. ;) I typed in "Rest in the Lord." MOST of the entries came up quoting Psalm 37:7 - Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. While intrigued, I didn't feel like I had my answer. I mean... I'm trying to figure out what God wants. I'm trying to figure out if He even hears what's going on with me sometimes. I'm trying to figure out this whole... well everything.

Finally, I get the bright idea to open up my Bible and read it there. I flip it open and lo and behold, I've written all over Psalm 37. "That's interesting," I think. "Wonder what it says."

1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

HA! Did you read that?
This is a real You do, I do kind of a Psalm. All of the things that *I* am supposed to do are designed to pull me closer to GOD. Delighting in Him, Resting in Him, Trusting in Him...

I think THIS is where the "REST" command lies. It IS resting in Him. It's spending QUALITY time with Him (which was also brought up on Thursday night), it's reading His Word, talking to Him, hearing from Him, caring about what He cares about. It's not stopping small group and work and and and... it's purposefully living my life centered around HIM... resting in Him, absorbing Him with every ounce of my being... refraining from the anger, wrath, fretting mentioned in this psalm - HOPING in Him.

I will continue on this path. I LIKE this path.


Mandy said...

You are encouraging and inspiring me. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still reading, every post.
I am glad that you got some direction on your question of rest. I will need to read this post (& that Psalm) more closely when I have a little bit more time.
Have a great week!!

Emily said...

Thanks for the reassurance. It feels a little lonely out in blog-land sometimes. ;)

Steven said...

Thanks for sharing. I need to read your blog more often. :-)

That reminded me how lately, I've been listening to the New Testament on CD while working. (I know that doesn't work for all jobs, but it works for my current one.) I've never gone through the NT so fast, but it's been refreshing, and I've been noticing things in there that I hadn't noticed before. I just realized that this may be some of the "rest" you are referring to...not necessarily taking time off, but taking time for the things that are important.

Emily said...

YES! Very well put.

Jenni said...

So basically Rest means, be at peace?

Emily said...

Jenni -
No... I mean, yes, peace comes into play, but... I *think* what God is saying to me is WAY more than that. It's... it's being in HIM all day... instead of in my frustrations, etc. It's being purposeful - not just spending the few minutes every night with Him that I am, but...

OK... it's like if you take a bath and put rose scent in the water, you're going to come out smelling like rose, after you've soaked in it for awhile. it's like with God... purposefuly "soaking" in Him, throughout the day, results in smelling like Him... and all the other CRAP becomes far less stressful, therefore you're also more physically rested... etc.