There is a word that intimidates me like no other! It is a four letter word. No, it is not an obscene word, nor is it a bad word. It is a simple four letter word, that I would say most appreciate or desire. But, not me! Someone mentions the word and my name or a pronoun pertaining to me, in the same sentence. And I get all kinds of anxious. I get a little bit upset about it, too! “How dare you suggest that I need this or that I must take this!”
But you know what! It all comes down to one thing really; and that is trust! My reaction and resistance to this word and it’s implications tells me, via the Holy Spirit, that I don’t trust my Lord as I should. Even in the mundane. Ahhhhhh!!!!
I think sometimes we doers truly believe that our faith and trust is wrapped up in all that we DO. We believe that all that we DO in our non-stop doing is most pleasing. But our Lord has required that we show just how unwavering our faith is, in our NON-doing! – I know right, what-the-what!? But!
After the Lord God delivered the children of Israel up out of the land of Egypt, He brought them to place called the wilderness of Sin. Sin was located between Mount Elim and Mount Sinai. The Israelites had been traveling for fifteen days and began to voice their complaints to Moses and Aaron. They where blamed the two brothers for saying, “If we were going to die, I would rather have died sitting by the meat pots, eating bread. At least our bellies would have been full. But nooooo, you two bring us out here to the wilderness to die of starvation!” Of course, that is highly paraphrased, but you can check it out for yourself in Exodus 16. But what a CHARGE to bring against Moses and Aaron. They were just being obedient to the Lord! So Moses and Aaron reminds them that is was the LORD who brought them up out of Egypt and that they would see His glory because He has heard their grumbling (Ex. 16:6; but what a merciful God that He hears our grumbling and still loves us). Moses and Aaron cautions them in their grumbling against their leaders, by reason that they were ultimately grumbling against God.
The Lord had brought the Israelites to this place in the wilderness of Sin and it was here, He began to set His expectations of worshipful living unto Him, for them. And these expectations began with the Lord providing food, or bread for His people. This bread was to be their daily bread that they trusted the Lord to provide for them. They could only collect enough bread for each day. If they collected more than they were suppose to, the next day that bread would be rotted and full of worms. (Ex. 16:19-20)
Within the instructions of gathering their daily bread from heaven, the Israelites were given one exception. They were not to gather on the seventh day, therefore, God allowed them to gather enough bread on the sixth day, for the seventh. As we know, God said that the seventh day was blessed and holy unto Him, and God rested from His work. (Genesis 2:1-3) Not only did God our Creator rest on the seventh day, and not only was man to rest from gathering, but the whole earth and sea, rested on the seventh day. This is so foreign to some of us, this rest, because we live in such a GO-GO-GO world. But, I am old enough to remember when very few businesses remained opened on Sundays. Some gas stations that were open, didn’t sell alcohol or tobacco on Sundays. But, now many object to those ways and it isn’t profitable for the businesses Now, there is hardly ever a time when anything is closed during seven day week. And we wonder why people are tired.
This Sabbath rest the Lord required of His children was a gift to them, not a forbidden pleasure. The Lord was giving to them, not taking away from them. He was giving them the gift of- ok–that scray word. Have you figured it out already? It’s been mentioned a few times already! You know the word: REST! AHHHHHH!
REST! It’s scary isn’t it!
I am currently Day 10 post-OP! At discharge my Dr. advised REST! SIX WHOLE WEEKS of REST! What the what! Close friends and family, who have had similar surgeries or the same, I had strongly encouraged me to REST! Saying things like, “Tamika, take the time they give you to rest!” or “Make sure you are resting!” and “Remember you are healing from the inside out, so rest!”
Frankly, I was tired of hearing the word ‘rest’ the second it was mentioned. I thought to myself (with the nudging of our Helper), “Tamika, are you so afraid of rest?” and I answered, “I don’t know and leave me alone because I am mad that I have to rest.”
Could I be grumbling and complaining just as the Israelites were? To whom am complaining about, the doctors or the One who I asked to give them wisdom concerning my care, God?”
I should really be careful, here. I mean, my body does need to heal, and perhaps there is something the Lord wants to awake in me or teach me.
When I hear the word ‘rest’, I am instantly annoyed and perplexed. Mainly because it means “I CAN’T DO” and secondly, I have not the faintest idea of how to rest. It is almost on a daily basis, that I say, “Okay kids, Mama is going to go lay down for an hour and rest.” But what do I do? I grab my phone or either my laptop, or both and I go lay down on my bed and commence scrolling. Resting(sarcasm implied).
This brings me to another question. I am truly afraid of the word ‘rest‘ or am I truly afraid to trust the Lord to take the rest that I need? I think the latter. You see, the Lord was showing them how He was a different Lord. He is one full of love and compassion. Their previous ‘lord’ never gave them rest. Pharaoh worked them to the the ground. But the Lord He is different. He demonstrated how much He cared for His children that He brought up out of Egypt by providing food(and water) for them, even in their grumbling AND by giving them rest. This rest the Lord was giving them was not just for their time in the wilderness of Sin, but it was to be kept when they entered the Promised land and on from there.
We are so like Israel! We make our own rules and DO-DO-DO and GO-GO-GO and wear ourselves out to the point of misery and heartache. We rob ourselves of true and satisfying joy and rest.
So, instead of lamenting my six week rest assignment, I will trust the LORD and watch Him DO! He will DO through my family and community of believers and friends. He will DO in the quiet moments of prayer and time in His Word, and as I am massaging my incisions with sweet almond oil. And I will trust. I will trust the Lord that I will get all that I need in a given day. There will be no left overs. I will trust because I know that all of my needs are in Christ. My rest is in Christ.