Finding Rest

Lately Lauren has developed the skill of falling asleep wherever and whenever she happens to be tired.

She is playing happily in her room, and the next time I walk in, she’s asleep on the floor surrounded by her stuffed animals. We are playing in the living room, and Lauren crawls up on the couch and falls asleep. Recently, we were having music time. Jackson was picking strings on the mandolin and I was playing scales on the piano. Lauren began pounding the keys next to me, and suddenly I realized in the midst of the cacophony her head was nodding and her eyes were closed. The same day we were about to get the kids ready for bed, and Lauren beat us to the punch, again konked out on her floor.

The girl needs her rest!

As we began bedtime routines, Lauren didn't make it to the crib

Lauren is likely going through a growth spurt right now, and when her body requires rest, she complies.

Why is it that a nearly 18-month-old knows better when to rest than her 31-year-old mom (and probably most adults, for that matter)?

Rest becomes this elusive concept after college, and certainly after children. Rest is impractical. There is too much to be done. Life becomes one huge checklist, and you are always behind. Who has time to rest?

Apparently, God does.

After He created the entire universe, every intricate detail of our planet, and painstakingly shaped the first man and woman with His own hands, God declared that His work was good, excellent in every way. And, on the seventh day, God rested (see Genesis 2:1-3). This was our bedtime devotion with Jackson a few nights ago, and after he learned about Day 7, Jackson asked, “Mom, did God use covers?”

Besides observing the Sabbath day of rest, Jesus also took time to rest and recharge by withdrawing from the crowds of followers and journeying into the wilderness or the mountains to pray and spend alone time with His Father.

Lauren requires rest so that she can grow properly. So do we. Our souls crave rest in our Creator, time spent one-on-one with Jesus. If we want to grow, rest is necessary. Rest is the time God is preparing us for our next growth spurt and mission for Him. It is when we can just talk, with no pretenses, with our Savior, and He will share His very heart with us.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

– Matthew 11:28-30

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Glory to God in the Highest

The night was quiet, as the Earth held its breath in anticipation of the dawn. A baby’s cries interrupted the stillness, and heaven could no longer could contain the praise due to the Savior of the world, who was now laying in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Shepherds were the first to hear the glorious, good news, as heaven’s armies burst forth in chorus:

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!

Thirty-three years later, as another Sabbath came to a close, numbness began to take over those who loved their Messiah most. The image of their Lord beaten, bloody, pierced, dead was too much to take. And, now he lay buried in the ground. Jesus had cried out, “It is finished” as he hung on the cross, and as they gathered together, that’s how it felt, like everything they had loved and believed was finished and done and buried.

The darkness of the night lay heavy upon the earth, and the rocks which held the tomb in place begged to break the silence. The first rays of sunlight began to break across the horizon, and an earthquake ripped open the dawn of the third day as the stone was rolled away from the tomb’s entrance.

All of heaven held its breath as the Son came forth in victory, defeating Hell and the grave. The song the heavenly hosts sang upon the Christ’s arrival on Earth was realized as the Prince of Peace conquered sin and its full punishment, proving His complete authority in heaven and on earth.

He is Risen!

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!