Thursday, March 3, 2011

THAT rest

if you've been reading my blog for a while {that's you, mom...thanks!} - you know that there are a few themes that seem to keep resurfacing.  one of those is my inability to just chill out.  it's a 'personal growth' area that i keep coming back to.  as hard as i try, 'rest' seems to elude me on most days.  traditionally, i've been more of the crazy busy, 'run around like a chicken with your head cut' off types.   
since returning from puerto rico i have been trying to carve out rest in my daily life rather than running full speed ahead until an official vacation comes around {once every few years!}.  what this looks like for me is a spontaneous date night with joey or choosing to spend part of my kids' naptime sitting out in the sunshine reading a book rather than furiously cleaning my house for 2 hours straight.  
a couple of years ago i picked up this coffee mug as a gentle reminder to find rest in my life...
for some reason when i pulled it out of my kitchen cabinet today the word 'that' seemed to be glaring me in the face...it was unsettling really...
so i did a little research.
i realized why 'that' word was staring me down.  i had been misinterpreting it all this time.  maybe even overlooking it all together.
if you read these words within the context in which they were written {always a good idea by the way} you find something much deeper...something i hesitate to even begin to dive into in this post.  in the past 30 minutes i have journaled 4 pages about what i have found...
i would challenge you to dive into the book of hebrews yourself and see what you find.  it's actually one of my favorite books in the bible - perhaps because, as one author puts it - 
'the language is, both in vocabulary and style, purer and more vigorous than that of any other book of the New Testament.' (B.F. Westcott)
you don't need a bible...every single translation of it can be found on the internet.
in a nutshell, i learned this...

::1::  'that' rest = the eternal inheritance that God wants to give us.
wow...that's a little bit more significant than the 'chilling out' kind of rest i had in mind.

::2::  our part in achieving rest = obedience to God
God's part = allowing us to enter into HIS REST
{nice...so the 'chicken with your head cut off' madness is completely unnecessary...what i really need to do is slow down so that i can hear the voice i want to obey}

::3:: God has promised eternal life to those of us who believe in Jesus and our need for salvation through him regardless of how faithful we are to Him {stick with me here...}
BUT - according to this passage in Hebrews - the extent to which we are obedient and faithful to Him {that means He's in control...not me...whew - what a relief!} is the extent to which we will find rest in this life and full blessing in our life to come

if you take some time to explore these passages yourself it's worth taking a peek at genesis 2:2 where God HIMSELF rests {if He did it...I guess it's okay for me to do it too}.  and He did so not because he was tired {come on...God doesn't get tired}...He did so to demonstrate that at the end of a great divine work it is appropriate to stop...to cease... 
we can look forward to the same at the end of our own life if it has fulfilled the purposes to which He has called us.

and one of my favorites - matthew 11:28.  here, as in many other points in history, God promises rest to those who would trust and obey him.  not only that but he provides an invitation.  if you take away nothing else from this bumbling spiritual treatise, please hear this...

Jesus invites anyone who feels a need for help beyond their own capacity to follow him.  To be gently bonded to him so that our life is no longer our own but something much greater.

{if you're like me this life has thrown me a whole heck of a lot of situations that have been way beyond my capacity to handle - from divorce to death to parenting 2 kids under 3 - life is hard.  so this is one invitation i definitely will not turn down.}

so while my little baby naps and my big baby is off at preschool i've had a busy morning - not of cleaning house, but of obediently following this trail to knowledge and understanding that was put before me...
and guess how i'm feeling...
rested