Exhaustion was nearing as Gracie and Emery (two of my granddaughters) headed upstairs for their naps. They were sharing a room for their rest time—since as cousins and best friends they desired to be together every possible moment during Gracie’s two- day visit. It had been a busy morning full of swimming and playing, so their moms thought it best they rest for a few hours after lunch.
After about an hour, the two came downstairs dressed like this. Obviously, rest was not on their agenda—seemingly having been replaced by the myriad royal duties of princesses.
I smiled as this picture floated through my mind’s eye this morning as I sat on the front porch reading and meditating on God’s promises.
You see, I was struggling with anxious and fearful thoughts about several difficult situations that had arisen. When I get fearful I tend to look for something I can control (or at least try to control…as if I could). Certainly, a room needs to be cleaned or some task needs to be finished, right?
I then realized that I can be much like these little girls who were supposed to be resting—but instead of resting their imagination carried them to far away places.
God has given me every reason to rest in his presence and promises. So why do I get anxious when he has given me all that I need? I find I must continually take time to refocus my heart on his greatness and his compassion. Otherwise, my imagination can take me to places of worry—doubting his capability and mistrusting his reliable love. When that happens, I don’t rest in his presence and promises.
However, when my heart is truly at rest… trusting God’s infinite wisdom, power and unimaginable love for me—my heart is secure and at peace.
Several scriptures refreshed my heart today. I encourage you to read them. They remind me:
- Rest is found in God’s presence
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. (Psalm 116:5-7)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
2. I am too often tempted to resist the rest he offers. (Not a good thing to resist)
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! (Isaiah 30:15-16)
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)
- We must decide whether or not to take the rest God offers us.
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:8-11)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:16-20)
May God’s rest overtake your (and my) imagination.