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Real Rest

Real Rest

Pastor Jonathan O’Reilly

We live in a world built around busyness. We are taught that stress is normal and that resting is lazy. But, like most things the world believes, God has a different idea. God wants us to rest. 

“It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” [Psalm 127:2]

The worst rest in this context doesn’t mean a cat nap. It’s not referring to a restless sleep, or simply being apathetic and lazy either. God’s rest is deeper than sleep and more than taking time off and better than escape. God’s rest is fulfilling, peace-filled. The kind of rest that causes you to remember that God is in control. It’s rest that asks our hearts and our minds to be still. To listen. To lean in. To pray. To wait. To practice faith.

This kind of rest is opposite of everything the world values. The world around us places weight on busyness and how many items you check off a to-do list each day. It places value on accomplishments and hustle. Often, we pride ourselves in the amount of things we’ve gotten done. And rest isn’t usually one of those things.

But God wants to give us rest. After all, God himself, the creator of Heaven and Earth, rested.

We can rest in our salvation. In God’s promise of life everlasting, we can breathe. We can close our eyes and revel in the glory of our forever made possible through Jesus.

We can rest by keeping Sabbath. This is not an antiquated ideal, either. Sabbath just means being intentional about slowing down. About putting God first. Because we deserve to have a Sabbath rest.

We rest through significance. In the knowledge that God has a plan, even for our resting.

So, rest. Turn off the phone, shut the computer, unplug. Close your eyes. Pray. Thank God for His promises. Be still. Listen. Wait. Because in the waiting, God will speak. And in the resting, God will renew and heal our hearts so we can be ready to fight for His kingdom another day.