Finding Rest in a Restless World


There’s a restlessness in us that seems unquenchable
We call it the desire to do better and achieve more
We give our best in life to make it easier
We kill ourselves with work to be able to rest one day


We hope that at one point our lives will be better
Our achievements will be enviable and life enjoyable
All our lives we live a frantic life hoping for stillness one day
We are restlessly looking for rest before the grave steal us


Others have faced the ugly reality of life too early
They were promised hardwork pays but it failed them
Some gave up the restlessness and joined escapism
They are lost in the imaginary world unable to face reality


Like children lost on the way we yearn for home
We long for that day when peace and tranquility will abound
We hope at least once there will be calmness in our lives
Problem is when we get it we are too afraid to lose it


Will a day never come when we sleep like little children?
Will a day come when our hearts find rest and calmness?
Are we to go through this life restless for rest?
Who will deliver us from this frantic exercise we call life?


But there’s a day of rest that comes our way
For some it will be a great day of torture
But for those who believe a day of calm
A day to find eternal rest with our prince of peace


What a tragedy that some will live restless in this life
And yet face worse in the world to come
Friends, turn around, take a moment and look at him
Listen for the offer he makes, accept the rest only he gives


Don’t go through life restless to the end
In Jesus hands you’ll find rest and quietness
All you have to do is listen and trust in him
Come to him who longs to give you his eternal rest


Made for more than the perfect Weekend

Ever felt like the anticipation of rest is more than the rest we actually get. You know when it’s a Thursday evening and you tell yourself just one more day and it’s the weekend. That feeling when you know Saturday morning lie in is coming. When you don’t need to snooze the alarm. It’s even better when you’ve had a long week. You can feel the dancing in your brain imagining all the rest you’ll get.

Unfortunately sometimes weekends don’t always deliver. Something happens that makes it hard to rest well. A sick child, a mourning friend or a bad quarrel with a spouse. Or you get that full weekend but perhaps the fear of the coming crazy week robs you the rest you anticipated. And even when we’ve got the perfect weekend we know it’s not going to last. Monday tends to come quicker than we imagine. And if you are unemployed rest becomes an unwelcome friend.

What is it with rest that is so fleeting? We want it so much but it always seem to escape us. The entertainment world tells us we can get it, just pay for Netflix. Go out hiking with friends or do nyama choma. But none of it seems to deliver on our wild craving for it. Are we just ungrateful people? It’s possible. Have we become too obsessed with rest that we miss the good occasional blessings of it? I think we have.

But there are also many things that make good rest one of those rare things despite God putting it in our weekly calendar. Perhaps the longing for perfect rest is like what C.S Lewis called a desire for something in the world beyond. It’s ingrained in us but can’t be fully realised in our present world. Perhaps we were made for rest because we were made for God. Isn’t it striking that we meet the idea of rest right at the beginning of our creation story.
Genesis 2 tells us;

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 NIV.

Of all the things you think about God have you ever associated him with rest? That he’s for rest and fun? Perhaps our pagan religious roots has made God feel like a man who hates rest and is anything but fun. We might even think a good Christian taking a day off is ungodly. It’s no wonder sometimes people can feel church is no fun. Like God is out to get me busy and heaven is all about Keshas and crusades. Well not really. The God we find in Genesis 1&2 works and after that enjoys his eternal rest. Actually our work is supposed to point us to that unattained rest. We were made for this rest with God.

The Hebrew author commenting on this says;

9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Hebrews 4 NIV.

Now that makes heaven fun doesn’t it? God isn’t calling us to a choir of angels flipping our wings up and down. He’s inviting us to take a holiday with him in his perfect creation. Just imagine going on a safari with Jesus with Paul driving. Man oh man! You must be like man I could do with that like now. Maybe you are not the outdoor kind of guy. Think about this then, playing a snooker game with King David. Or maybe it’s Timothy, David feels like the hunting kind of guy. Though he might enjoy a bit of dance for those with more than a left leg.

Now I know I’m making some of you uncomfortable with this but maybe it’s our imagination that needs a bit of work. I don’t for once imagine a boring heaven like our mystical religious world portrays it. Nor do I presume a hellish paradise with drugs and prostitution as the wicked man would want. I think the God who calls us to rest, the God who imagined the beauty of creation and one who really cares for his children is a lot more fun than we imagine. His is actually the right kind of fun. And in Jesus we can long for that perfect rest and for more than a weekend.

Listen to how Isaiah puts it and tell me if that’s not some perfect way to rest. Isaiah 25 says;

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
Isaiah 25 NIV.

You heard that right. God is calling you to a heavenly party after party. Great meat, good wine, no tears, no death and no evil. If we got that even for a weekend it’d be worth everything wouldn’t it? Imagine having it for eternity. A life of fun with the Almighty and all knowing God. Imagine what his idea of fun is when you remove sin, death and Satan in the capture. I know I can’t wait. Can you?

Life and Death

Death has a way of reminding and awaking us to the reality of this life. That any of us and every one of us whether big or small, rich or poor, famous or infamous has a date with the small box. Death meets us all and most of the times it’s not well mannered to book an appointment. The man of God, the good statesman, the witchdoctor and the rebel all have one sure destiny under the sun. They will die. Sure their deeds will make that a day of mourning or celebration depending on who you ask but in the end they’ll be dead. It’s the thing that reminds you that men however powerful and influential are mere mortals. Death sets apart the creator from creation; the clock of life unravels man’s weakness.

We can all agree death is brutal, a ferocious enemy that attacks without warning. It leaves rampage, distress and broken lives behind. But it also tells us that how we live matters because we are not here for as long as we imagine. We need back that Gospel message that said tonight could be it for you because many have been caught unaware without it. As much as we don’t like negative vibes I think we might do with a dose of reality in our modern day. As we motivate people to live their fullest, exploit hidden potential, walk like the boss let’s remember we are here only for a while. Actually the Gospel tells us our best life, our longest life is in the future beyond the grave.

Order your house today by ordering your heart. The Bible says only those who die in the Lord are blessed that is happy and safe. For them it’s more like retirement as they finally rest from their labours. Those who lived in rebellion on the other hand, those driven by human sin, the grave is the beginning of their troubles. I know this is uncomfortable, old fashioned and you’d rather we do a better and more appealing Gospel message. Meet people where they are, pick what they love and entice them in to buy the Gospel message. But if talk of death is not relevant to us perhaps it’s because we’ve slept in for too long. In this country you can’t go past a news bulletin without it. So we may as well look into the Gospel’s verdict on the matter and do so more oftenly.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Revelation 14 NIV.

No more Pain!

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No more pain!

No more pain is what I expected after seeing my dentist. That finally I could fall asleep quickly and not constantly be aware of my teeth. Time to do away with the painkillers if only for a time. Who knew something so small could cause such discomfort.

While in pain we realise the weakness of these bodies that we treasure so much and see the reality of life in this world. We groan, toss in bed and cry to God whether we believe in him or not. And at that point we realise that we are not invincible despite what the world sells to us on TV. I know I’m not. 

But mostly we just want pain to disappear and stop interrupting our daily lives. Who has time to be sick in this rat race? Not forgetting how much it may cost us in time.

Pain and death are not unnecessary disruptions but reminders that all is not well with our world.

But sometimes, I wonder whether we have become so glued to the cycle of our daily lives that we have forgotten we live in a broken world. That we live in a world where people don’t always get to do what they want. That pain and death are not unnecessary disruptions but reminders that all is not well with our world. This is the world we live in: a world of pain and death.

Living in hope

But I shouldn’t use tooth pain and my headaches to generalize or undermine this matter. Many are suffering in ways most of us will never understand. The last thing they need is someone to say their pain doesn’t matter as we live in a broken world.

For us pain is not an end in itself but a reminder we are not yet at home until our Lord Jesus returns.

But without seeing the problem we wouldn’t appreciate or even understand the solution God gives in his Word. For that’s precisely why Christians long and yearn for the new world God promised in the Bible. For us, pain is not an end in itself but a reminder that we are not yet at home until the Lord Jesus returns. Then will live without pain and death in the new creation:

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21.

Some will say visit a GP and move on with life. Face life, deal with your losses and move on. Live to the fullest while you still can. But I think such people miss the opportunity that pain and death teach us about the reality of life on earth and the amazing hope we can have in Jesus. When we talk of living to the fullest in this world we must bear in mind such weaknesses. It’s a broken world after all.

What’s more, we are so busy to move on that we forget we are actually moving on to the grave. We are so quick to get on with life and tick off our bucket lists that we never stop to ask where this road is headed. If we did I think we would pay more attention to what God has to say in his word in response to this broken state of affairs.

Pain-free, yes, please!

What if there’s more? What if we can truly live, not in the momentary comfort we crave in this life but truly live without ever worrying about pain and death? What if we can have it all and much more? The Bible claims that such a future awaits those who turn to trust and wait on God:

7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.

9 In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Isaiah 25.

What the Christian faith offers is not just what we all desperately crave but more: eternal life with the God who made us. A world of abundant blessings, peace with God and without pain and death.

Taking your life seriously 

Perhaps all we can do for now is to visit a dentist and see a GP. But before we run back to our busy life why not stop to consider the claims of the Christian faith.The offer of eternal life is a free gift to those who would turn to trust and live for King Jesus now. Do not dismiss this without further investigation, turn to him by faith or at least reconsider:

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you (Israel) did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness…Hebrews 3. 

 

Have you even considered this could be true? Not the stories you heard growing up or in religious debates. But have you thoroughly investigated the message of the Bible for yourself as an adult? You owe it to yourself to care about your eternal future.

If this is true, then pain and death is not your worst nightmare. No, you are wasting your life in a cycle of events that will be the end of you. And the worst is yet to come. Not to scare you but to tell you the plain reading of the Bible.

Pain is not purposeless when we see it from the eye of God’s Word. Let your pain count for something greater than momentary comfort.

To find out more: I would suggest going to a Bible teaching church, perhaps start by reading a Gospel account and asking questions as you read through. Let the Word convince you. And if this is something you would be interested in investigating further then please ask a Christian friend or inbox me for more details.

Pain is not purposeless when we see it from the eye of God’s Word. Let your pain count for something greater than momentary comfort.

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