The Quest for Rest
“Remain this night, . . .” Ruth 3:13
Rest is essential. We all need it. Sooner or later we will hit a wall of exhaustion; our mind, body, and spirit will cry out for rest. We have unlimited potential, but not unlimited rest. We cannot live on adrenalin alone. The need for rest is seen throughout scripture as part of God’s plan to achieve greater things.
The biblical version of rest is much more than just a good night’s sleep. Rest is a journey’s end, a fulfillment of a promise, and the celebration of a job well done. Rest is a sustaining promise in the midst of doing hard things for God. We keep moving forward knowing there will be a time of sweet rest. There is a space and a place where God gives rest from our enemies.
The quest for rest is the deep search of the heart for acceptance, inclusion, provision, a future, a life worth living. This third chapter of Ruth shows us two things about rest.
Rest renews our stamina
Naomi has broken out of her depression and now seeks to help Ruth. She has the energy to strategize and make the most of the opportunity before her. Being at ease is a catalyst for positive change.
Rest refuses to strive
Naomi and Ruth learned that at the heart of their circumstances was the commitment of God Himself to meet their needs. One must learn to trust. The Lord blesses those who seek Him.
Zoning out is not necessarily rest. It’s not just relief from work, but an opportunity to remember and celebrate God’s finished work of creation and redemption. Our real rest begins when we accept Jesus’ gracious invitation to come to Him and lay our burdens down.
Jesus’ call is to the torn, the tattered, the tired, to the worn out, burnt out, to get away with Him, to take time to recover our life from the jaws of success. Jesus promises to show us what real rest truly is. He teaches us what the unforced rhythms of grace look like and feel like in real time. He will never lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on us. Jesus invites us to keep company with Him to learn to live freely and lightly.
What are your reasons for not resting?