Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 5 Rest

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Here in the mountains of Colorado we are just coming out of winter and embracing Spring. That time of the year when nature wakes up from a long winter rest as plants resume their growth and birds return in all their shades of color. So why the seasons? Why does nature have seasons of rest followed by seasons of growth? Because God planned it that way and he planted us in the middle of it all, right there in the garden. So, why did he put us here in the middle of His creation? Partly to tend to the garden but also to enjoy it, to rest and walk with God in his garden. This is not just resting from work but resting in God. When we rest in God, we are acknowledging that He is in control and we are not. This pandemic without question has a horrible side but I believe that there is always a rainbow in the storm. That rainbow is the gift of rest. Right now, most of us are very limited when it comes to work. In fact, it’s almost like we are in a winter season a time to rest. Yet while many are not working, we are not resting either. Our minds are still going at a frantic pace. We are consuming huge amounts of media, from hourly news updates to scrolling through pages of social media. We may be limited in our movement physically but mentally and emotionally our hearts and minds are racing. What if we would take a page out of God’s creation and embrace this season as a time to rest. A time to be still and stop striving. A time to turn our attention from our problems to our provider. To admit that we are not in control no matter how many systems we have put in place in our lives. The truth is depending on yourself is not only exhausting its futile. When we work to give ourselves a sense of security instead of service, we trap ourselves in a never ending cycle of performance. Every day we have to get up and work to maintain the façade. Like building sandcastles on the shore knowing that when the tide turns, they will all crumble and be washed away. Our work was never meant as a place to put our trust. As a replacement for God but to be used to glorify and exult Him. When we embrace rest, we break the chains of bondage. Like the Israelites we can walk out of Egypt and enter the promised land, the place God intended for us to live. Rest frees us from being slaves to a system so that we can be servants of the Savior. It doesn’t mean that we will have a problem free life, but we can have a promise focused life. This pandemic is not just ravaging our health care system it is tearing down our false facades of control. Like Toto the little dog in the wizard of Oz it is pulling back the curtain to reveal that the great wizard was nothing more than a man the rest was just an illusion. Man’s first full day of existence was the sabbath, a day of rest. After God created us and invited us first into rest not work. Our work should flow out of our rest, but our world has reversed that order. We see the start of our week as work, Monday not Sunday. That is why many are living for the weekend instead of living to worship. Instead of working out of a place of rest we are working until we are exhausted and are forced to fall into rest. We used to live for the weekend but what are we living for now? What if we have been living for the wrong things and this pandemic has pulled back the curtain to reveal it. What if we would embrace this winter season where everything seems frozen, and instead of fretting use it as a time to rest. What if our nation and even the world came out of this time rested? How would that change things? And what if we don’t, what if we just rush back into work with our hearts and minds still racing. The great Apostle Paul had times of isolation, when he was imprisoned. What did he do with this time? He rested in the Lord; he wrote to encourage other believers. His time of isolation was productive. Rest re-orientates our life from one of worry to one of worship. But you will never rest as long as you feel like it all depends on you. We don’t rest because we don’t trust God. Today I chose to walk outside and soak in God’s creation to rest in His work not mine. As I closed my eyes and felt the warm rays of the sun softly stroke my face and listened to the music of the songs birds and sensed the gentle breeze rustling through the pines a smile spread across my face, I am the beloved child of God. Rest in God rejuvenates the soul. Sadly, many of us just want everything to go back to normal. But do we really want to go back to where we were? The real tragedy would be to go through this pandemic, and nothing change. In this season of rest, we need to take time to evaluate our life, what we have been doing and where we have been going. What do you want to be different, what do you need to be different? What were your priorities before the pandemic what do they need to be after? Sometimes we are so busy scurrying from one thing to the next that we never take the time to evaluate what we are doing with our time. Resting provides a space to sift our lives and see not only where we are but where God wants us to be. Why not use this time to rest and reorientation your life.

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