“When do you sleep?” I was asked the question recently by a fellow church member. He knew I was a full-time school teacher, part-time Associate Pastor, writer, proof editor, husband, and granddad. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m desperately in need of rest. Teachers at our school receive no break from Labor Day until our Thanksgiving holidays. A long stretch unless it’s broken up by a day off. My nerves are shot, the kids are anxious, and I need some down time. Rest is enjoyable and required for good spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Like many others, I don’t get enough of it, in part because I’m bad about loading too many duties on my plate. Good things mind you. Just too many of them.
The Bible speaks of several types of rest, the above included. The rest these rebellious former slaves would not enter was of a different variety. Heaven was its name. They had followed Moses out of Egyptian slavery but had repeatedly rebelled against God in the wilderness. With the exception of a few, the entire generation who left Egypt perished in the wilderness because of this unbelief and never experienced the rest of the Promised Land. They rested in the ground, but not in God’s eternal rest.
God’s ultimate rest is heaven, but if I stubbornly refuse to admit and confess my sins, I won’t ever experience that rest. Heaven is only for those who repent of their sins and turn in God’s direction. I look forward to that rest. While living on earth is enjoyable, it’s also tiring. The challenges, brokenness, sin, and struggles can sometimes almost be overwhelming.
I can, however, experience God’s rest even on earth as I await heaven. Jesus said he gives abundant (restful) life now and in eternity. As I seek, depend upon, and believe in God’s daily guidance and care, I enter his rest—the peace of knowing all is well with my soul because I’m God’s child and he’s my Savior.
Have you entered God’s rest? His rest is available to all who will simply trust him.
Prayer: Thank You heavenly Father for providing a present and eternal rest for all who will come to You by faith.