When I read back over some blogs from the rest of the year, they often start with a comment on how busy Soul61 has been recently or about heading off for a break before another term, or how time is flying by. This is exciting and helps me remember a whole load of stuff I’ve been able to throw myself into this year but recently have also been reminded about how good it is to rest.
And this reminded me of a talk from church the other week that looked at rest. (I’ll confess… a load of this comes from there, I can’t claim it all as my own!) How often do we actually sit down and just rest? I know I’m pretty hopeless at it- the washing up could be done, or the living room tidied, I could tidy my room, or finish off some other work. And if none of them need doing, I’m sure I could find something else to fill my time.
Isaiah 30.15 says ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.’
Rest is good for us. Seems so obvious, but somehow we manage to ignore this; we feel stressed, rushed, busy and worn out. We keep doing stuff, going places, working harder. But this verse doesn’t say ‘In repentance and good works is your salvation’ but rest. It’s not about doing stuff to make us a better person, or staying busy so that God loves us more. God wants a relationship with us and so it’s important we spend time with him.
It’s a bit like you wanting to enjoy the sun and the beaches of some lovely island in the Mediterranean, but actually sitting on Brighton beach and hoping for the best. (however lovely it may be!) If you want to enjoy that, you’ve got to go and sit on a sunny beach. On a Mediterranean island. Where the sun is shining.
In the same way, if you want to experience our relationship with God to the fullest and the freedom through that, we’ve got to stay close to the one who gives it. And if we’re running around finishing off a million other things that need doing, we can’t stay close in the same way.
As the office gets busy and we’re planning loads for the summer, in staff prayers this morning someone reminded us all of Psalm 46.10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God’. This is just another great reminder of the importance of being still and taking some time out.
To quote from the sermon the other week ‘God invites us to a life where we spend ourselves for him- but he does not invite us to a life of stress, worry and despair.’
So let’s try it- take a bit of time this week to sit. To be still. To rest. And see where this leads us and see how we draw closer.