Resting in the Lord
In the novel Starship Troopers, Heinlein records an observation by the fictional Juan Rico in the midst of basic training: “I made a very important discovery at Camp Currie. Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more. All the wealthy, unhappy people you've ever met take sleeping pills; Mobile Infantrymen don't need them. Give a cap trooper a bunk and time to sack out in it, and he's as happy as a worm in an apple—asleep.” And now that I’m dealing with the ever-shifting sleep schedule of a one-month-old, I can most assuredly agree with this observation.
Anyway, it got me thinking to how many times we are told to rest throughout the Bible. From the institution of the Sabbath in creation – and Jesus assures us that the Sabbath was created for man, not man for the Sabbath – to Psalm 23 speaking of God leading us beside still waters where we will be restored, to Christ’s promise that His yoke is easy and in Him we will find rest for our souls, the promise of rest may be one of the most beautiful images we have of God’s victory over the troubles of this world. Did you know that the word “cemetery” comes from the Greek word for “dormitory”? Even our graveyards confess that we who have died in Christ are not really dead, but like Lazarus have only fallen asleep and are waiting to once again be wakened on the last day to the perfected bodies of our resurrection.
While it’s not a license for us to be completely passive and fall into laziness, how wonderful is it to know that it’s not up to us to earn salvation? To know that we can lay down for the night and recuperate after the day’s struggle without worrying that we didn’t accomplish enough that day for God to be pleased with us? So when the anxieties pile up and doubt creeps its way into your mind that you aren’t good enough, take comfort in the knowledge that we know that our God neither slumbers nor sleeps, but is always watching out for us; so take comfort in His watchfulness. In knowing that He’s already done all the heavy lifting for us. Trust in His promises of forgiveness for you, and find your rest in Him.