But, truth of the matter is - we do lose sleep. We do fret and worry. We do carry on with life, but in the back of our minds – there is anxiety! Sometimes just a little but other times much more - lots of stress. Have you been there? Do you know how it feels to be preoccupied with the things that are stretching you - home, job, family, friends, finances, etc.?
Luke 12:22 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on" . . . Of course Pastor was laughing and carrying on about the lack of sleep, worrying, etc., but it really is easy to let the anxieties of life get to us, weighing heavy on us physically, emotional, and spiritually.
Have you been to the place where you just wanted to “rest”? I mean take a nice long, uninterrupted rest and not have to think about the pressures you are experiencing. A rest – not have to make the hard decisions. A rest – not waking up in the middle of the night “thinking”. A rest – not have to look the world in the face. A rest – just sit in the back yard with a glass of ice tea and watch the fish in the backyard pond - ALL day!!! Wouldn’t that be nice? I think we should designate at least one day a month to do just that!!!! Are you with me??
"Rest" means: to be free from anxiety or disturbance.
How can we be free from anxiety? I woke up early this morning and was thinking, "why am I awake so early when I could be sleeping?" Is that a hint of anxiety??!! Then I realized, I am still in my early morning walking routine-mode but now that summer is winding down so are my daylight hours! It isn't even daylight at my normal walking time so I'm awake - it's still too dark to walk - so I got up and was reading. Wasn't it nice that God provided this special time just for my devotions??? I came to today's devotional by Charles Spurgeon entitled "Rest for God's People" - how fitting was that??!!! The scripture was from Hebrews 4:9-11 and says, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest."
As I read this devotional this morning, I was reminded of this "rest" that God talks about. Charles Spurgeon stated, "It is then a spiritual rest altogether independent of circumstances. It is the spirit within that gives the rest; that rest has little to do with anything without. The spirit is the spring of rest; as for the outward surroundings, they are a small account. Let your mind be like the mind of Christ, and you shall find rest unto your souls; a deep rest, a growing rest, a rest found out more and more, an abiding rest, not only which you have found, but which you shall go on to find."
"It is strange we go on living our everyday lives so carelessly stumbling, we plod our commonplace paths, and forget that we walk everyday, every hour, in the presence of God!"
-Martha Snell Nicholson
That rest is there for us as we seek God's presence and are obedient to Him, as we turn our frustrations, our anxieties, and our lives over to the Him. The Message version says, "this is a live promise". It wasn't canceled at the time of Joshua: otherwise, God wouldn't keep renewing the appoint for "today." The promise of "arrival" and "rest" is still there for God's people - even "TODAY". He is the great Comforter waiting with outstretched arms as we enter into His "REST" - that deep, growing, and abiding rest!
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life . . .