July 6, 2022
God's Rest

God's REST

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11 (NIV)

For the past four years I’ve been selecting a word for the year - a reminder of something I value that I want to focus on, with the Lord’s help.  My 2022 word is REST. Dr. Saundra Dalton Smith’s book “Sacred Rest” helped me realize my need for more intentional REST in specific areas of my life and also highlighted ways daily choices were robbing me of that REST.  So, REST is my word. And summer is a great time to be thinking about REST!

Shawn blog 3Hebrews 3 and 4 reference the Lord’s ‘rest’ and how not to enter it, that is, by hardening our hearts through disobedience. Disobedience, a symptom of unbelief, robs us of all that God wants to give us, including eternal rest in heaven with Him one day and rest here on earth.  Spiritual ‘rest’ starts with reconciliation with God and gives us peace. Romans 5:1 says that “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” That peace gives us rest, relieving stress and worry and assuring our souls of our eternal outcome. But in the day-do-day we can still make unwise, even disobedient choices with ‘hardened hearts’, robbing ourselves of the earthly rest God wants for us.

For me, disobedience comes in the form of reacting selfishly and swiftly rather than pausing. I have recently tried to adopt author Pam Farrel’s  practice of asking myself a question related to my chosen word for the year. I consider, “Will what I’m about to say or do steal the REST I am seeking?” I make my question even more specific by asking, “Will this cause me in any way to cling to old ways that have been weighing me down and stealing my REST?” Boy, does that give me pause.

The ’new ways’ that no longer weigh me down or steal my REST include choosing moderation in my eating, drinking, and exercising. TheyShawn blog 2 include listening well to others before responding. And they include setting aside regular time to abide in God’s Word and pray for others and myself. Throughout this year, and especially this summer, I will pause and practice these ‘new ways’ as I, with God’s help, “make every effort to enter that rest."

Reflection:  In what area of your life do you feel the most burdened or anxious? Where do you need to find REST and how can you make time for REST this summer?

Dear Lord, please show me anything in my life that is stealing the REST you want to give me through Jesus. Help me to relinquish it all to you, and please give me your REST. In His name. Amen.

By Shawn Maassel, Huntingtown, Maryland

Lee Ann PostmaShawn began taking Body & Soul® classes as a student in 1990 after her first child was born. Years later, after a move and transition to full-time church work, she became a Body & Soul® instructor in order to bring the ministry and classes to her new church. She has been leading classes since 2003 in Huntingtown, Maryland and enjoys being part of Body & Soul’s® Spiritual Impact Team. Shawn and her husband have three grown children and two grandsons across the country.