Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating
Caring
Communities
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Transform
Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1:00:00 PM - Written by Doug Hignell -

A close friend sent me this email in response to my previous blog on rest:

"Nice blog. I look forward to talking to you. Rest has been pretty elusive for me. Work, five kids, sick kids, tired wife, large case load, Sunday school teaching…. It is hard to find rest in the middle of this. I look forward to your input. Even when we are home with our kids, rarely does it feel like rest. Umpiring…yes. Dishes…yes. Diapers….yes. Cleaning…yes. Rest….not really."

There are no easy answers to my friend's dilemma. We have all experienced seasons of being overwhelmed by life. Clearly God understands the struggle to enter His rest as described in Hebrews 4:9-11 (Amplified Version):

"So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own. Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves]…"

What an amazing contrast. We are told to "…cease from the weariness and pain of human labors…" Okay that sounds good, let's kick back, put our feet up and rest! Except who is going to do the dishes and change the diapers? We are then told to "…be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest…" All of a sudden the concept of entering God's rest sounds like a difficult challenge and significant work. Not very good news for the one who is already weary!

God understands that entering His rest is not easy. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are. This would include the struggle of resting in the midst of heavy demands on His time and energy.

Repeating myself, there are no easy answers to my friend's dilemma. What we can ascertain from Hebrews 4 is that: (1) God understands the difficulty of entering His rest; (2) He holds out the hope that we can cease from the weariness and pain of human labors; (3) He makes it clear that this is not easy because entering His rest requires great effort.

So, learning to rest actually can be hard "work" for us, but I can promise you the reward is worth the effort. More on this in my next blog.

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