Rest; April 25, 2023

Psalm 62:5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

Rest can seem like a rare commodity at times. The Japanese expresses the first line as, “My soul is quiet, just waiting expectantly for God.” That really is the secret to rest. When we think, “I’ve got to do something, I’ve got to fix things,” we won’t really rest whatever we are doing otherwise. That sort of attitude, as destructive as it is, is actually rooted in self-centered pride, elitism if you will. It has caused countless problems in the world, as people who are convinced that they alone are smart enough to get things right proceed to mess things up totally. Genuine rest comes from humility about yourself and an accurate awareness of God. That awareness is encapsulated in the last two verses of this Psalm: “One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Psalm 62:11-12) When we understand the power and character of God we are able to entrust, release, everything to Him, and that is rest indeed. Paul put it this way: “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) At the time he wrote that Paul was awaiting his execution! That’s not a time when most people can really rest, emotionally at any rate. However, the better we know God, the less this world will tie us in knots. As David says here, we need to receive our hope from Him, and rejoice!

Yesterday I had an interesting bit of training in this. I had a meeting at a church in another town. I’ve been there a couple of times before, but each time I had someone with me who was very familiar with the location, and yesterday I was by myself. I got completely lost, and had to call for rescue! Then after the meeting I managed to get lost again, failing to get back to the main road I had come in on, and had to stop and ask a gas station attendant the way to Omura. The sky was overcast, making east and west hard to distinguish, so that was probably a factor in my getting lost on the return, but all in all it was another blow to my pride, because I very seldom get lost. In it all, I’m grateful that my emotions didn’t get into more of an uproar, but it still wasn’t very restful! Physical exertion is tiring, but at the same time generally satisfying. Emotional exertion, on the other hand, can be exhausting but is not satisfying. I’ve got to remember what David says here, aiming to become like Paul was at the end of his life, refusing to let the devil steal my peace or my joy, receiving my hope from my loving Lord.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the lessons of yesterday. I still have no confidence I could find that church without a map, but that’s fine. Help me be totally assured of who and what You are, convinced that Your grace is sufficient for me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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