RECEIVE REST FROM WEARINESS AND PAIN

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RECEIVE REST FROM WEARINESS AND PAIN

Have you ever been to one of those holistic healing centers that focuses on self-reflection and meditation? Those centers are great for getting away from the hustle and bustle of life, clearing your mind and stepping back so that you can see your situation with greater clarity.

But have you ever wondered just what are you really looking for during one of those introspective moments? When you are in ‘deep meditation’, what questions are you asking yourself? Just what is it about your life that you are checking for? Or is your mind one complete blank?

Meditation and introspection are great, but like with all things, they must come with a purpose. And if you have been trying out that method of alternative healing but don’t know where to look when you look inward, Paul gives us a very good suggestion; because to our Father, if ever we want to look inward and examine ourselves, there’s really only one place we need to look and one question we need to ask; and this is it.

“Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness].” Hebrews 4:11 [AMP]

The only question we need to ask ourselves is ‘are we at rest’. But why is rest so important? Why is rest the quintessential solution to all our problems?

“For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own.” Hebrews 4:10 [AMP]

Beloved, if there is nothing else you can remember from the Bible, this is the one thing that you need to bear in mind; when we have entered into our Father’s rest, we rest from the weariness and pain of our labors.

Now, I’d like to first put out a caveat. Some people read Hebrews 4:10 and think that once we have God in our lives, we can kick up our heels and relax in our hammock, taking in the breeze as we sip on our Pina Coladas; and God will do the rest.

Yes beloved, God will do the rest, but we are supposed to participate as well. We don’t stop working. We don’t stop studying. We don’t stop planning. But we do so without weariness and pain. It’s a little like this.

Have you ever been in a situation where no matter what you do, it is never enough? No matter how many hours you put in at the office, you are never bringing home enough income, you are never pleasing your bosses, you are never pleasing your wife and children. No matter how clean and ready the house is, no matter how much effort you put into preparing breakfast, the juice is always sour and he never wants to talk when he gets home. What gets to you, really? If we are honest, the work is never the thing that gets to us, but what does is the weariness and pain of doing so much and knowing that no matter what you have done, it will never be enough.

And that’s just it. When Israel was in the wilderness, rest was never about them not walking. They still needed to walk. How else could they traverse the physical distance? Instead, rest was about knowing that when they needed shade from the scorching sun,

“…the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud…” Exodus 13:21

And when they needed light at night to show them the way and to keep them warm and safe,

“…the Lord went before them … by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,…” Exodus 13:21

When they were hungry, rest was not about sitting down on the ground and waiting to be fed, instead rest was about knowing that

“…At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread….” Exodus 16:12

And when Pharaoh’s armies were coming, rest was not about sitting put and watching the massacre from their lounge chairs, instead rest was seeing

“…the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.” Exodus 14:19-20

And by this, they were able to continue their work of traversing the space between Egypt and Canaan peacefully, without weariness and pain.

So you see, work is really not the problem. The problem is the weariness and pain that comes attached to the work. And our Father is telling us right now, just as He did to Israel long ago, that He wants to rest us from this weariness and pain.

But how do we do that? What branch of tantric meditation should we engage in? Well, beloved, here is where I always marvel at what a complete resource the Bible is,

“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 [AMP]

Let’s be honest. When we are being introspective, we can sometimes be in denial. And we deny many things. We deny that we are stressed out. We deny that we can’t cope. We deny that we are hurt. We deny that we are weaker than who we make ourselves out to be. And worst of all, we deny that we need help.

Now, this last bit is usually our downfall. When we think that we can cope without our Father’s help, we take upon our shoulders, not just the work, but the weariness and pain of worrying for the result. It’s a bit like this.

A farmer can plant a seed. He can water the seed. He can furrow the ground. He can give the seed nutrients. But He cannot make the seed grow. Likewise, you can spend nights preparing that presentation, but you cannot make your boss like it. You can hit your targets, but you cannot make your boss like you. You can adjust the contract to suit your client’s demands, but you cannot make your client sign it. You can do all you can to please your spouse, but you cannot make your spouse love you.

So where does the weariness and pain come from? It comes from the worry that our efforts will not bring about the results that we want. And as long as we are in denial about just how much we can really influence, we will never be able to put down that burden and be free from its weariness and pain.

And that is where the Word of God comes in. Because when you read the Bible, you are not merely reading words off of a page. Remember that you have the Holy Spirit with you and His job is to

“…teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” John 14:26

Now, when will He teach you if not the times when you are reading? When will He remind you if not the times when you are reading? So when God’s Word, through the help of the Holy Spirit, does surgery on your heart, and brings to your realization just how much needless worry you are actually carrying, that is when you will be led into God’s rest.

This hymn hit the nail on the head.

“Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer”

Rest, beloved, is not the product of getaways and retreats. Rest is a state of mind. Rest does not come from running away from our responsibilities. Rest comes from facing your responsibilities head on, knowing that as long as you put in your necessary action, you need not take on the unnecessary emotions of wondering if or not your actions will bring about the desired outcome.

So plant the seeds which you are called to plant and then spend time with the Word. Let the Spirit teach you and remind you of just how much you are loved and cared for; and just how much Jesus is working behind the scenes to make sure that the seed you planted flourishes into a mighty tree.

Turn away from your worry and turn to His Word. Bring all your cares to Jesus and exchange it for His rest.

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