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July 21, 2008

A Place of Rest

It seems there is always so much to do. We complete one list of things that “must be done” only to sense the need to create another one of equal importance. Looking over it, we realize that nothing is frivolous and nothing can be put off to a later date. The list of legitimate distractions is long. There are calls that need to be made, meetings that must be attended, and appointments that need to be kept. The thought of retirement, even if it was a reality, provides no form of shelter from the firestorm of obligation.

Maybe you feel like so many who walk out their doors on Monday morning wondering where the time as gone. Who stole the weekend? Did the grocery store clerk bag it up and place it in someone else’s buggy? The author of Hebrews wrote these insightful and comforting words: “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest” (4:9-11). As believers, one day we will enter the eternal rest of God. But for now there is hope and refreshment available to all who are weary and pressured.

We don’t have to wait for eternity to experience the peace God has for us. And really many times, we don’t have to do a special activity in order to know He is close—breathing freshness into our dusty and well-worn hearts and minds. Take a moment to step away for the demands of your day. Close the laptop. Put down the pen and turn the cell phone off. Consider His goodness and faithfulness to you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Evelyn and Richard Forrest kept hectic schedules. Even after her fall in the late 30’s, Mrs. Forrest continued to travel each week to Atlanta, Asheville, Greenville, and Anderson to teach Bible studies. She had a weekly radio program and maintained a prominent teaching position at Toccoa Falls College. Richard Forrest did the same. He was the senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Toccoa, the president of Toccoa Falls College, and a District Superintendent in the C&MA. He traveled extensively preaching God’s Word and telling many of those he met about the school he and his wife had started.

Their days were full. Yet, their priorities were straight. When you pick up their personal Bibles, the first thing you notice is how worn they are. Every page contains a personal mark, underline, or note written off to the side. It is obvious that they were not consumed by what they did but by the One who had called to them in love. They knew what it felt like to rest in His care long before they stepped into His eternal presence. Life was not a chore; it was a blessing. And the same can be true for us when we take time to be with the Savior and allow Him to order our days and steps.

(Taken from the online book Grace in the Wilderness © 2008