Rest, my friend, rest!

Rest, my friend, rest!

Rest. Wrest. Homonyms — two words that sound alike. But a world of difference separates them.

Rest. Cease. Stop. Sleep. Daydream.

Wrest. Grab. Snatch. Force. Seize.

Rest or wrest? Which of these accurately portrays your last few months, years? Do you seize stuff, grab attention, force matters prematurely? Do you appear as a blur to your friends – hurry, rush, urgent? Do you resemble a hurricane force gale or a gentle breeze?

When did you last rest? What do roses smell like? How does a creek sound meandering through the meadow? What does rain feel like? When were you last alone, quiet … no cell phone, no FaceBook? (Deep breath! Deep breath!)

Our Jewish friends practice Sabbath. I’m jealous. Our Protestant friends often label Sunday our Sabbath. Our busy Sunday schedules are far from restful. Sabbath is not primarily worship. Sabbath is primarily rest.

Do we follow Nine or Ten Commandments today? Some suggest Sabbath is passé. I beg to differ. I may disagree with our Jewish community as to when and how to practice Sabbath. But our Creator demands a Sabbath for our mental, physical and spiritual health.

Neither you nor I can long navigate life at our normal hectic, break-neck pace. We will shut down, shatter, and take with us those we love.

Rest declares my dependence upon God, my trust in his provision. Rest follows God’s example who rested following six days of creation. Did he tire? No. He modeled the rest we so desperately need.

Jesus alone offers ultimate rest. “Come to me all who are weary and burdened,” he invited, “and I will give you rest.” Having given his people spiritual rest, He simply, lovingly longs for us to know the rest, the shalom of a quiet heart, mind, and body.

Do you rest or wrest?


Pastor Don L. Pahl

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