Don’t you just love long weekends?? I know I do! Although, there’s really no difference for our family since Monday is Dennis’ regular Sabbath and day off, and because our church services are on no matter what (which means he still needs to be on work mode during weekends.) But just the same, I love long weekends and holidays–the city becomes quiet, families slow down (well, typically), and as if by some magic– Manila traffic disappears!
Going through my feed earlier, I saw several posts from friends being grateful for the much-needed and well-deserved rest they all had over the weekend. “Much-needed” and “well-deserved” being the key words here. There was a sense of relief about being able to finally get some rest, as well as a “Well, here we go again!” tone in a lot of their posts. And I totally get them. I know I feel this most of the time coming home from breaks, too. Sometimes, we even hear this: “All good things must come to an end.” And we reluctantly nod our heads, realizing the need to face and accept this reality.
But what if rest is one of those good things that does not need to come to an end??
The writer in Hebrews 4 reminds us that God’s promise of rest stands today. It’s available for today. Not only is it available, but we are invited, encouraged– even commanded– to enter God’s rest. The writer here saying, “If there’s one thing you really need to work at, it’s to rest.”
It’s funny because I am one who would usually describe a fruitful vacation as one in which I am able to accomplish something. Towards the end of out mini-vacation the other night, while Dennis and I were sitting by the fireplace enjoying each other’s company, I suddenly stood up and said, “Wait! I need to go down.” Obviously enjoying our moment together (and knowing my type A tendencies), he asked why and what it was I was planning to DO (oh, he knows me so well!). I said it’s already been two days of not accomplishing any work, so I wanted to go down and grab a book so I can at least say I learned something new.
He had to spell it out for me: ” WE ARE ON VA-CA-TION.” As if I were a foreigner who knew little English.
I know enough English. It’s REST I knew little about. It’s a foreign word that has to be spelled out for me. It’s an unfamiliar and far-fetched idea that has to be defined for me. It’s an invitation I keep wanting to accept, but I constantly ignore and put off.
Resting, for me, requires a lot of effort.
It takes effort to humble myself and admit I am incapable of doing everything I plan to. It takes effort to admit that apart from the grace of God, I am incapable of accomplishing anything worthwhile at all.
Yes, rest requires a lot of work. But it’s work that’s pays a high dividend. It’s work that reconnects me with my Master. It’s work that realigns me with what’s truly important. It’s work that reminds me all the work has already been done.
Christ has done all the work for me, so I can be free to have my “much-needed” rest. He has done all the work for me, so I can always confidently enter that place of what I feel to be is “well-deserved” rest– even though the truth is, I don’t deserve any of it. God’s just that good, that He allows me to share in the credit of what Christ worked for.
Remember: God’s that good. Christ has done all the work. As for me, I am to work to enter God’s rest.
Here are three ways we can apply this, practically speaking:
R- Refuel each day.
Connect with the ultimate Source. Read your Bible. Pray. Get some alone time with God.
E- Exercise gratefulness.
Count your blessings. Keep the focus on what Christ has already done. Keep tabs on what you have already accomplished.
Sometimes this is the most spiritual thing we can do. A lot of our crankiness, our restlessness, our lack of focus– can actually be addressed if we just got enought sleep.
T- Take time to play.
Schedule it if you need to, but play. I mean really play.
And I know what you’re about to do, young mom of preschool and school-aged kids! Especially you, my fellow homeschooling mom! I can see your brain coming up with “educational” activities for your kid.
Just stop. Don’t even go there. Resist the urge. ???
Just play. Play for the fun of it.
Rest, because you must. God commands you to.
Rest, because you can. God invites you to.