Saturday, September 3

Anyone Need a Rest?

As Summer comes to a close, and overcome by activities and responsibilities, we often fall to fretting that we cannot get out from under the load. Young mothers no doubt come to this quite easily as do managers in companies. Too much "stuff" comes at you to get done what needs getting done. Or, too little time is left for these poor souls to get alone with their Lord. (As you can see, I am speaking of the true Christian believer). So, what is to be done? Where is this "rest?" Rest is a beautiful thought. For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15) Rest can refer to the cessation of labor. True. But it is not just what you cease doing, but in what you plan to do in which rest finds its greatest virtue. Rest in Scripture often refers to actively being still in God's presence so that one can hear him and respond in kind. It is a peaceful place. Tranquil. Don't you love that word? Ah-h-h. The sighing of a heart at rest before God is the longing of the soul after God. And such will never fail to find peace. Listen to Thomas a Kempis:
WHEN a man desires a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease. A proud and avaricious man never rests, whereas he who is poor and humble of heart lives in a world of peace. An unmortified man is quickly tempted and overcome in small, trifling evils; his spirit is weak, in a measure carnal and inclined to sensual things; he can hardly abstain from earthly desires. Hence it makes him sad to forego them; he is quick to anger if reproved. Yet if he satisfies his desires, remorse of conscience overwhelms him because he followed his passions and they did not lead to the peace he sought.

True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them. There is no peace in the carnal man, in the man given to vain attractions, but there is peace in the fervent and spiritual man.

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996), 11.

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