Rest and peace

Hebrews 4:1-11
Adrian Rogers, the Southern Baptist minister, once said, “If Satan can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” Oh, how we see the truth of that today!

I’m finishing a book about, of all things, email. It’s about how this great tool used to help us better coordinate our work. Now, because it’s so efficient, it’s used to keep us connected at all hours. Connected at all hours is a nice way of saying always busy.

And even the church is in on this busyness. Church leaders would lead with the idea that keeping people busy was how you keep them saved. Busyness does not equal holiness.

Busy expectations can be harmful to our health, even. More studies are exploring the connection between overly busy schedules and stress levels. How many times have you heard someone talk about always being tired? They’ve got some medical ailments they can’t explain. I’m waiting to see medical and social scientists help us further explain how much busyness is hurting us.

In the meantime, I don’t just want to make you busier at church. There are meaningful things we do, of course. Your spiritual gifts will lead you to discover what you need to be doing for the edification of God’s church. But that’s not busyness. It’s surely not busy work.

So, if busy is the devil’s tool, what is God’s. God doesn’t make you busy. God gives you rest.

God’s rest is nothing new. God rested on the seventh day and offered a model of a whole life. I’ve often wondered what God’s rest day looked like. I imagine the Lord took in the goodness of Creation. Does God nap?

In a way, those who first read the book of Hebrews were worn out. Not by busyness. Their issue seems to be doubt or unbelief. But part of the work the author offers them is learning to rest. Yes, rest is something we learn. Think about how we never wanted to sleep when we were kids. Now that we’re grown, we’d love to be able to take a break. We’re just too busy.

But God’s rest is more than slowing down or even napping. God’s rest is connected to God’s peace. That means learning to rest in God means learning to accept God’s peace. Mind you, it’s not automatic. People have and do reject it.

But God does not stop offering it.

God doesn’t run out of grace. God doesn’t run out of rest. God doesn’t run out of peace.

So, look for ways you can trade the busyness the world wants to entrap you with for the rest God wants to bless you with.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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