REST

January 15, 2021

By: April Rains

Last night our family was sitting on McCuen’s bed for our evening prayers. When Q started to pray his statement gripped my heart…and as I left his room, I repented.

He prayed, “Lord, help it all to just go away…like it never even happened.”  That two letter word, “it”, was such a big word not easily identified…it was both a feeling and a circumstance. 

You see, just moments before, we were all in the living room and a conversation about the state of the country started after Brent read an article on his phone about world politics.  That morphed into chatter on election, Covid, Israel and many events close in our minds right now. That was when McCuen leaned back into me on the couch and asked us to talk about something else.

Last night reminded me of a moment Sunday morning during worship and as I looked out over the people the scripture from Matthew 11 came to my heart – “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden…and I will give you REST.”  I think we all feel it. And just like I so badly need to rest in God, I want to make sure my kids experience God’s rest during this time too. 

In our home we haven’t kept news on the tv or even discussed current circumstances everyday, but we all “feel” it. The weight from so many of the areas of life are in disarray at the same time.  The constant change, the never ending personal news that is hard or even tragic, the cancelations of events we were excited about, routines changing weekly, the medical tests and quarantines, the political ads, the virtual church, the casual statements of, “are you making it” or “I just don’t know”…they add up. I think our house stays pretty positive and fun considering…but you better believe that our kids are still being affected.

God is saying to us, “HEY, Let me have it. I see you. I saw this. I know it is heavy. Sit Down and lean in…I AM YOUR REST….I will give you a peace beyond your understanding.”

Yet that is often easier said than done, and sometimes it’s hard to know how.

I would suggest that the “How” is a combination of Praying, truly meditating on scripture…and then applying discipline in areas where habits have formed during this unusual time. 

  • Sometimes it is the discipline to keep the phone put away and stop scrolling.
  • Sometimes it is getting alone with God again and again and crying and letting him hold you.
  • Sometimes it is doing something fun for the heck of it.
  • Sometimes it is reworking daily routines and measuring reactions to circumstances that arise.
  • Sometimes it is writing promises of God on sticky notes and placing them all around your home for all to read. 
  • Sometimes it is just eating around the table and talking about the good things…
  • Sometimes it is stopping to Praise Him over and over.

All I know is that I will mess this up and have to repent again. But I also know that the only way I can be at rest and translate that peace in my home is to ask God to fill me with His strength and comfort so that I can share it. I must ask Him for the extra to pass it along. I am committing to speaking life in our home and talking more about how God has provided, loved, forgave, clothed, fed, listened, held and spoken during my day to day encounters. I am committing to my children that our home will continue to be a home filled with the Joy of the Lord, the Hope of the Lord…and that our Praise will be heard loudest. 

And I know it wasn’t a coincidence that this scripture on REST came to me in the middle of praise and worship. You see, the Bible also tells us that “God inhabits the praise of His people”…and I just know that when his presence inhabits the place I WILL ALWAYS FIND REST THERE. And SO WILL YOU!
 
I, like McCuen, wish in many ways it would “all just go away…like it never even happened.” Yet, I know that isn’t possible, so I want to make sure that the impact on our lives gives Hope to the next generation. God has created our children “For Such A Time As This”…and we must raise confident warriors that will rest in God the face of difficulty.
 
Will you join me…one small choice at a time? Will you Praise Him? Will you REST IN HIS PRESENCE?

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