As I wake from my four hour nap after a long night shift, I am naturally contemplating the concept of rest.
There are times when our bodies are so tired we long for rest. Sometimes we wish for, as Clement Moore described in "Twas the Night Before Christmas," a "long winter's nap."
I remember at the end of my pregnancy with our youngest daughter Emmie, I was working full time at a busy University Center Labor & Delivery. At that time we were doing just under 400 deliveries a month, there were no "slow days." Since I knew when our repeat C-Section was scheduled, sometimes I would close my eyes and think, "In X-number of days, I'm going to be in the hospital, and I'm just going to sleep!"
Of course, I knew it wasn't going to happen that way. Loving family, supportive friends and dutiful nurses flowed in and out of my hospital room at all hours. A beautiful newborn wanted to nurse every couple hours as well. There was little sleep. The first night, someone came in my room for some reason or other at least every hour during the night. The next night my physician wrote a note on my door saying no one should enter unless I called them. She was known to be a fire-brand with a stormy temper and no one dared disobey her order!
Rest is often elusive even when we have opportunity to attain it. Our bodies may rest and yet our minds may be racing at 100 mph. But the Bible is full of promises of rest:
"And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." Exodus 33:14
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." Hebrews 4:9
The Lord desires us to rest in Him. He desires us to trust that He is able to calm the seas of our lives, to quiet the winds of our worlds and to hold us up above the surface of the raging waves. He would have us to rest as peacefully in Him as that little newborn daughter rested in my arms in those days I was wanting sleep.
She knew her mother's voice. She knew her mother's touch and she rested and slept safe and secure. There is none we can trust more surely than the Lord Jesus. Not only in the future for that rest of eternity, but in this very minute of toil and turmoil. There is no safe haven apart from Him. He has not left us and He will never forsake us. If that be the case, what have we to fear, of what cause is there to worry? The Lord of Heaven and earth holds us in His very hands. . .we can rest.
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"