I have shared with you some paintings that I enjoy from John Linnell who captures work and rest beautifully. I think we get so caught up in our striving that we lose sight of what it is we strive for and work so consumes us that we fail to take time to rest.
Here is what I know.
If God does not build the house, I am only going to build a shack. There is so much emphasis placed on us men to be all that we can be, the measure of success defined by the world to such an extent that it leaves no room for rest. Even our mentors have failed to see the yielding our lives to God so that He can build into it and play a major role in it. Only rest redefines success.
If God does not guard the city the night watchman might as well nap. Spiritual warfare plays such a huge part of our life. We do not know the half of what God has done for us while we work. Rest redefines our relationship with God and strengthens our walk with Him so that He can define the road that He wants us to take and He determines our steps. Ten thousand can come against us on one side and ten thousand on the other and none will take us. Even my children would wonder why I would not worry when they went out at night. They would come home and I would be in bed. I would tell them that their God, my God, was watching over them and I trusted Him enough to rest.
God enjoys giving rest to those He loves. One of the best parts of taking some intro Bible courses at Tyndale University was the study of the Sabbath from a Jewish rabbi. The concept of Sabbath became something that I could see very clearly as God’s love. God’s love language of time was the idea behind rest – He loves to spend time with us. Part of our cup being made full again after giving so much is resting in Him so that He can fill it with Him.
Children are God’s best gift. Everything you want to know about God comes through when you have children. I see God’s hand in my life through my children. Funny how I cannot see it as a child, only as a parent. The concept of rest to a mother is quite revealing. I learned it in small ways when my wife would attend retreats and other times of adventure where I would attend to our two children for an extended time. Rest was something to look forward to, prepare for and definitely plan. The reward for a time at the park was two children who went to bed on time, wiped with a good day of action, and an excellent time of rest to restore energy for the next day activities.