Strength and Dignity


“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Here we are, just 10 days until Christmas Day and most will agree they feel far from rested. The hustle and bustle of the season is nearly impossible to avoid. Programs, presents and parties can leave the days of December with little time for much else. My man has studied deeply the topic of rest and emphasized often the importance of rhythm in life. The continual problem I find is that life can be much like tall, awkward, pubescent boys at junior high dances … rhythm impossibility! However, when we take a look to the very beginning of time we will see a God-established rhythm of rest. Not only did God establish such rhythm; He exemplified it.

“So the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts (inhabitants). And by the seventh day God completed His work, which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work, which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.”
Genesis 2:2-3

God’s rest on the 7th day of creation was not as much about completion as it was preparation. It’s abundantly clear there was much more work to be done, but yet there was still a pause. That Holy pause allowed for pleasure to fall over what had been accomplished up until that point. The Holy pause also allowed for preparation for what would come next.

Without the Holy pause, God might have entered the Garden of Eden a bit differently after the whole “apple-eating incident”. You know, that first sin that broke His relationship with the ones He had created? Can you imagine? God created the universe only to be hurled into the fall of the man He just gave life to.

My thoughts wander to those depleted mom moments that arrive on the wings of exhaustion. Maybe the kitchen has been ordered and cleaned, I step away for just moments, and upon my return to my pristine kitchendom I now find complete disaster. As I struggle to pull myself together from the horror before my eyes, my foot falls into dog poop left by our beloved family pet. Monster mommy then makes an appearance, and she is not a calm, rational being.

The day His relationship with creation crumbled, God did not approach the Garden of Eden in a depleted state, whirling about in frustration or anger. No monster mommy moment for Him. God’s approach was to pursue His children, whom He deeply loved, with a heart that was gentle and a plan to restore and clean up the mess they had created.

Ever feel in desperate need of rest, but simply no time for it? We can find our lives in the unhealthy rhythm of jumping from one thing to the next; allowing ourselves to be drug into the never-ending quest to have it all done. That rhythm will inevitably lead us to places that resemble my monster mommy. So then, how does one find time to rest? The answer for most is it must be scheduled. There needs to be a commitment to make rest happen or it never will. Completion will not arrive in our lifetime on earth. There will always be just “one more thing” looming in the distance that needs to be done. Until that heavenly rest comes, what does earthly rest look like?

I think maybe earthly rest looks a lot like “Silent Night”.

Silent Night, Holy Night!

…all is calm, all is bright
…round yon virgin, mother and Child
…Holy Infant so tender and mild
…sleep in heavenly peace
…sleep in heavenly peace

These lyrics carry my soul to stillness; a vision of Christmas Eve service, the sanctuary of the church I grew up in, circled around the pews, holding a candle and singing…

Thinking on the calm that is spoken of in this beloved Christmas carol; Mary with her baby Jesus. It is so calm; they sleep with a heavenly peace. If you’ve every held a sleeping infant you know the peace that accompanies the moment; it is nothing less than heavenly. It’s a peace like no other. This is a peace that must be chosen. Only happening for as long as it’s allowed.

When will you take the Holy pause you need? When will you rest your soul?

Go get your calendar. I think you need to make an appointment.


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