Hey fellow quarantined friend! I'm sure you’ve heard the phrase “I’m tired” echo in conversations with your friends countless times before. Similarly, I’m sure you’ve voiced similar grumblings as you’ve found yourself with a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. Yet, in these last few weeks it seems as though our lives have suddenly come to a screeching halt.
Ironically, this crisis has created in our lives what we used to so desperately crave— rest. In order to keep those around us safe, we’ve been encouraged to stay home. We’ve gone from attempting to tame our stressful schedules to relaxing on the couch and dusting off our old board games and puzzles. Our calendars are now empty. The streets and store shelving are now sparse. Our neighborhoods are now quiet. The world has slowed down astronomically as the established rhythms of our lives have been interrupted. While I’m grateful for this period of rest physically, I don’t want us to miss out on the other spiritual possibilities in our reach during this time of rest.
I’ve found that the bible has a lot to say about rest- not just physical rest, but spiritual rest as well. Today, I want to highlight the applications we can take away from the example of the Israelite people. After the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Eygpt, they wandered in the wilderness for many years unable to enter the promised land. Towards the end of Hebrews chapter three, the author stresses that the Israelites were not able to enter the promised land of rest because of their unbelief and their unwillingness to trust God.
Later in Hebrews 4: 6, 9-10 AMP it is written, “Therefore, since the promise remains for some to enter His rest, and those who formerly had the good news preached to them failed to [grasp it and did not] enter because of [their unbelief evidenced by] disobedience... So there remains a [full and complete] Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness].”
We see from these verses that the promise for rest was not just extended for the Israelites, this same promise is extended to us today. We get to experience an ultimate fulfilling rest when we are willing to trust God and have confidence in his good and precious promises. My challenge to you today is to examine and unearth the places in your heart where distrust has thrived. Once you’ve identified these areas, begin to seek out the truth and meditate on God’s promises in scripture relating to those areas. In her bible study Trustworthy Lysa Terkeurst writes, “when God’s word is spoken into our situations and circumstances, truth lays the foundation for trust to be built.” This statement illuminates the beautiful picture of what it looks like to build our lives on the truth of His promises. Rather than being held captive to our fears and doubts like the Israelites, we can step into true rest in Christ as our faith in Him is strengthened.
Let this be our goal these next few days- to draw closer to the Lord and develop a deeper understanding of His faithfulness as we put our whole trust in Him. In this time of physical rest I want to encourage us to cling to God's promises because when we trust Him we can experience his fulfilling spiritual rest in our lives.