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Rest

Why is it that most of us in our culture are afraid to rest?  Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to have this guilty conscious in me when I take a break.  My wife and I just got back from vacation with our kids, and the first few days away were tough.  I made myself turn off my cell phone and didn’t blog or check email , and something in me felt naked.  All of the sudden all of the things that help make me “important” were gone.   I was left with simple conversation, hanging with my family, helping prepare meals, swimming, getting sun, and somehow it didn’t seem like enough.  Slowly, as the vacation went on I got more comfortable with resting, and came back physically, emotionally and spiritually better than before our trip.

The prophet Isaiah gives us a window into our own souls when he says in Is 30:15 “In returning and rest is your salvation”.  WOW! Salvation comes from rest? (I had to look this one up in a Commentary) “It must be in returning and rest, in returning to God and reposing in him as our rest. Let us return from our evil ways, into which we have gone aside, and rest and settle in the way of God and duty, and that is the way to be saved. “”Return from this project of going down to Egypt, and rest satisfied in the will of God, and then you may trust him with your safety. In returning (in the thorough reformation of your hearts and lives) and in rest (in an entire submission of your souls to God and a complacency in him) you shall be saved.”’’*

How could it be that returning and rest brings us to salvation?  I experienced a glimpse of it on our vacation.  Instead of my typical reading of scripture and journaling each day, I took a simple scripture like, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”, and walked on the beach repeating the scripture over and over.  This helped me quiet my thinking,  it helped me rest, and it helped me return to what is really important in life: connection with the Father and with others.  I’ve been back a few days and have continued this ritual of 30 minutes a day of repeating a scripture over and over, while driving, sitting in the chair in my office, etc.  Maybe, just maybe, Isaiah was onto something…

*Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Is 30:8

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