In this season of COVID-19 where many people are forced to stay home, what does it mean to rest?
What is the end state of every person? It is to rest. (Hebrews 3-4.)
Being forced to cease activity is not to rest. Rest is not only to cease activity.
To rest is to cease activity so as to be refreshed.
To be refreshed (naphash) is to breathe or be breathed upon.
The activity we most need to cease is not external but within us.
Inner chaos labours our breath. God speaks and breathes in us, chaos disperses, and our inner world is completed in all its vast array.
The root of inner chaos is worry. To worry is to breathe under the dark waters of the deep.
We then distract ourselves from worry through our external activity.
To be refreshed, we must rest.
To rest, we must be present and see that what is before us is good.
We must be present to the object of our rest: our breath, our inner selves, people around us, delights we partake in, and God.
We cannot rest without faith (Hebrews 3-4).
Without faith, we see only darkness when there is already light.
The object of our faith must be trustworthy. Otherwise, we are blind fools.
When we rest in God, God breathes in us. So, rest is holy.
Our lungs are filled with the breath to pray.
We breathe in only to exhale. We rest to refresh others.
Faith makes our heart tender and minds humble.
A tender heart gives us courage and compassion.
A humble mind gives us clarity.
Compassion gives clarity to who we must be, who we must act for, who we must act with, how we must act, what is right and what is not.
Courage to act rightly.
We rest so as to lead others into rest.
We rest and breathe until we are breathless. Then we rest again.
We rest and breathe and rest and breathe until we enter the final rest in God.
Then we shall be complete.
“1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NIV).
“16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” Exodus 31:16-17 (NIV).
“3:19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief… 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” Hebrews 3:19; 4:9-10 (NIV).