GIVE IT A REST!

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

Turn on the TV or any device you use for news, or scroll through any social site, and those four words of the title may be ones you say or shout at whomever on the screen. Some people—though, I’m sure none of them are among this journal’s readers ;0)—may, instead of those four words, say or shout a few four-letter ones. To borrow from Elvis, there’s a whole lotta nonsense going on these days. Only occasionally does any of it amuse or make us feel like laughing. In fact, it’s causing many individuals increased stress, and that’s something we really do want to rest from.

Most of us who read this journal are of a certain age or were raised by parents from what’s been well-named The Greatest Generation (or are proud grandchildren of them). For most of us, nonsense was barely tolerated in our homes, if at all. A lot of what goes on these days would never have been put up with (fill in your own blanks here as to what that represents). It wasn’t that home life was joyless, just rooted in logic and critical thinking, learning how to be practical and taking care of responsibilities, fairness or, as we may have called it as children, fair play. People made time for fun, and even found ways to make chores fun, but considered time too precious for nonsense, especially if destructive.

The truth is this: We may desire those who inflict us with contemporary nonsense to willingly change their ways, and we may wait a long time and, perhaps, even in vain. Long or brief the wait, we want and need a rest from this . . . stuff.

Sabbath means rest. God knew we’d need to rest at least one day a week from the trials this world and those who are worldly (rather than of His Kingdom) would put upon us. That’s one reason He made it a command to honor and keep such a day. He also provided other forms of rest, which when we think about them, we realize they are also some of His wondrous attributes. I’ve offered some thoughts about each one listed below, but as you read these, pay attention to what comes up for  you.

Love is rest (from the weight of unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and grudge-holding).

Forgiveness is rest (from beating ourselves or others over the head—or heart—with mistakes from the past or five seconds ago).

Wisdom is rest (from engaging or entertaining nonsense or making foolish mistakes).

Discernment is rest (from being easily deceived).

Patience is rest (from feeling harassed or harassing others when patience is required).

Kindness is rest (from rude and caustic behaviors, and it feels really good!)

Truth is rest (from lies and deception, and why there are times we shout, “Give it a rest!” at whatever or whomever).

Faith is rest (from worry based in fear).

Trust is rest (from the exhaustion born out of doubt).

Knowledge of God, along with an intimate relationship with Him, is restful because it leads to, engenders, and results in the above forms of rest and the peace Scripture says surpasses all understanding.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” – Matthew 11:28 NLT

Look at this list again (add Grace and Mercy to them as well). See what comes to you in regard to what kind of rest they might or do bring to you (if you allow them to). We can experience the rest God intends for our spirit, body, and mind through what’s listed above rather than their opposites.

My point is this: You have a God-provided choice. You can let the world and others steal your joy and peace or you can establish and carry rest within you, no matter the circumstances you find you face. You can even share it. All things are possible with God.

Prayer makes progress.

 

 

 

 

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