Resting in God

Recently a friend mentioned a Scripture to me that really resonated.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:10)

The way my friend saw this Scripture is that the light only showed one step at a time, because it is focused on the feet. God may speak to us to give us direction along a specific journey, but He doesn’t show us the entire path.

This concept had personal application for me, because my wife and I are looking for next steps in our lives on many levels. However, things are not very clear to us, and it seems that this is intentional on God’s part. It seems that God has a purpose in only illuminating one step at a time:

It requires that we trust Him.

If I keep telling God that He can lead my life, and that I want to do what He wants, then I’ve got to chill out and trust Him.

But I also realized that there’s something even deeper than trust:

Rest.

Resting in God means not only that I trust Him, but also that I let go of trying to be in control to do it all myself. The impulse that we all have to be in control all the time actually makes resting very difficult. It is a challenge to rest in God, but it is an integral component of our spiritual relationship with Him.

To recognize the power of rest as a spiritual principle, we have to start at the very beginning:

Genesis 2:2-3: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis say that by ceasing from His work, God created rest on the seventh day. Seen in this light, His final act of creation in this universe was not humanity, but rest itself.

In fact, rest is so important to God that it is the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-10). For God, our rest is not optional. This is the kind of God I can really get behind! This is rather different than the characterization of God as a brutal taskmaster that is sometimes seen in our cultural discourse.

With resting comes many benefits: peace, clarity, love, a sense of well-being, deeper relationships, physical and mental health, creative thinking, and an enabling to be more productive.

So here’s a little experiment you can try:

Imagine yourself as a small child, held in the arms of a loving Father. Meditate on this image of being cared for by Him, without any anxiety or worry. He will supply all needs. He loves you unconditionally. Find an experience of rest with God. It is an experience of intimacy with Him.

It’s time to chill out with God.

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