Give Thanks in Rest
Open Your Bible
Numbers 6:22-27, Exodus 20:8-11, Micah 4:1-5, Luke 10:38-42, John 14:27, Hebrews 4:9-11
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: Numbers 6:22-27, Exodus 20:8-11, Micah 4:1-5, Luke 10:38-42, John 14:27, Hebrews 4:9-11
I’m the person who makes an itinerary for vacation. I resist the urge to print or laminate anything, but I almost always create a list. I do it, partly to get the most fun out of a trip, and partly because I feel awful when I don’t accomplish things. Even on vacation, I feel the need to be “productive.”
That is why I am shaken by Jesus’s words, “I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). Lately, I’ve been noticing that what the world gives me isn’t worth what it wants in return. The world asks me to hand over my time, energy, and talents in return for a tiny piece of a fading empire. And the world is never satisfied. When I give her my best, even sacrificing my health and desires, her admiration lasts but mere moments. She always wants more from me.
Early on in life, I learned to chase what the world could provide. I became a planner and an achiever. I found my worth in accomplishments, however fleeting the reward. I forgot how to be still. But the lesson I’ve been learning is that I will never find peace in the way of the world.
Are you like me? Have you believed the lie of the world, that it will give you happiness if you just try harder? The message of Jesus is completely contrary to the message of the world. While the world promises happiness it will never deliver, Jesus pledges peace from His Spirit. While the world asks us to scramble like rats on a wheel, our Father God asks us to stop and rest.
We all want joy and peace, but few of us listen to the Lord’s guidance on how to get it. From the very beginning of time, God clearly commanded men and women to rest. Six days the Lord labored, and on the seventh, He rested (Exodus 20:11). He instructed His people to do the same, blessing the Sabbath day. Of all the Ten Commandments, I think our culture downplays this one the most.
Even within Christian culture, we can confuse our worth with our work. Serving others is honorable, but when you can’t stop for even a day, you are listening to the voice of the world.
The almighty Creator didn’t need to rest from His work because He was weak, tired, or spent, and yet He chose to do just that. As bearers of His image, our souls were created to mirror the Lord in all things, including rest. God allows us—even commands us—to rest.
The world is a lousy gift giver. No matter what it offers us, what we really need can be found in the arms of the Father. God calls us into the rhythm He established at the formation of all things. It’s a rhythm good for our souls. The Son of God invites us to Himself, saying, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Let’s give thanks today for Christ’s restful way that leads to peace.
Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.