Rest Assurance

"For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved;" (Isaiah 30:15a) Ordinary time

What do you do to rest? I guarantee you it's something that God thinks of more highly than do we. These things, of "quietness and confidence" (later on in the same verse), of peace and joy and relaxation, are activities God prizes for their very enjoyment's sake. Did you know that God rests?

"The Lord Thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17, emphasis mine)

This means God will stretch out and make Himself at home with you. Something we all want, no? I'm reminded of the time Jesus fell asleep during the storm as He and His disciples launched out over the sea. To "the other side" (Mark 4:35). You may not see the shore for fog or some other source of confusion or procellousness. That's okay. If Jesus can sleep through the storm, so can we. And there's always some sort of inclement weather or reason for such, in this life. God is doing things in us and around us and the fallout from which is what causes the storms. The trick is to get attuned to Him by the Holy Spirit to where internally, we have that rest and that inner poise at such a time when everything around us would scream the opposite. The disciples, implying Jesus didn't care at all (!) say "Master, carest not that we perish?" (4:38) The logical conclusion of storms without would seem to be either death, or just a really, really miserable life. And when we aren't appropriating the rest Jesus died to give us, we infer this about God.

"These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." (Psalm 50:21)

When the music stops

I find it slightly ironic that the musical notation for "rest" would look so much like a lightning bolt that the idea--of stopping the music--could be lost. Perhaps it serves to remind the musician of the storm and the "pause for refreshment"? Another, more outdated symbol for rest looks like a "P" with an extended and filled-in beak. Or am I being picky and pedantic? Look them up and see for yourself. The thought expenditure for the preceding is too high I might add. It's fun at times to so burrow into a topic and lose yourself even as you color the view all around with your own opinions. Beyond a certain point, however, God would necessarily need to be there, picking (or else unpicking) the strands around which you would wind the thing in question for fear of being tangled in an unrestful situation. And when you think about it (please do), any unrestful situation was brought about by an unrestful heart (whether our fault or no). And mind.

"Thou wilt keep him (and her) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." (Isaiah 26:3)

God always aims to bring us back to that place where rest is. He dwells in one location even as He's resident in the heart of every believer in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Referring again to those things you do to be at rest, think about this:

"But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isaiah 57:20-21)

Just because you sense confusion and anything antithetical to rest doesn't mean you're wicked. Howsoever, just because one believes on and in, and knows (and loves) Jesus, doesn't mean their thoughts aren't in keeping with some vestige of wickedness. Real quick: the Latin root for "vestige" refers to a "footprint" and the English word itself literally means "a trace of something no longer there". That's how it is. The "dirt" and "mire" have indeed been washed away (see John 13:10) but our thinking about the matters which would in turn cause such to be felt could be fine-tuned. Work on it. Better yet, relax. Focus in on God and realize it's His rest that becomes ours.

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Psalm 40:1-2)

Or should it say reclined?

Do as I Say and as I Do

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