Whispers of Rest
By Cindy Sproles
"The LORD replied, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'" Exodus 33:14 (NIV)
“Inanimate objects don’t have human traits!” I still smile when I think of my friend’s adamant opinion. But last night, the waves whispered to me. I couldn’t see them through the darkness, but the voice of the water called to me from across the sand. “Rest, lull in the wash of the ocean,” they murmured.
It’s been a long three years. Much has happened. Good things…hard decisions…but then nothing good is easy. Is it? Overwork and stress were taking their toll.
I climbed out of the bed then slipped from the condo onto the beach. A couple stood ankle deep in the foamy wash, flashlights and strainers in hand—their catch, nil. My watch glowed a florescent yellow—4:00 a.m. A chill surged through me. And I recognized my soul was tired. I needed physical and spiritual rest.
Fatigue has many forms—the physical towers above the spiritual need for rest because we often fail to understand a balance must be struck. As the waves pushed my feet deep into the sand, I knew without a doubt, I was weary.
Satan wasn’t ashamed to use my good attributes to wear me down. He’d attacked me brutally using my work ethic to push more work at me. He knew the ethic insisted I complete the task. But when I said “no,” he lashed out like an angry child and my soul wore away.
Christ understood the agony of a strong work ethic and the repercussion of saying “no” to Satan. He pushed ahead when His body pleaded for rest, sometimes climbing into a boat to get an arm’s length from the crowds who pleaded for His healing words and touch. He worked until He was spent. Still, He’d slip away to seek solitude in His Father. Jesus needed rest and renewal, and He sought both in His alone time—in His prayer life.
God, in all His majesty…rested. He set the pace for a good work ethic. Yet, even as He toiled to form every crevice and crinkle in the universe, He chose a day to rest. In all of God’s infinite wisdom, He earmarked a day, a time that we might follow in His example; seek His peace, take in His restoration and renewal.
The Father knew His children needed respite and when He rested on the seventh day then commanded His children to do the same, there was reason.
“He said to them, "This is what the LORD commanded: 'Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD…” (Exodus 16:23a NIV).
It was to bring our bodies and our minds back to Him.
I dropped to my knees as the ocean whispered its restful coo. Clearly, God had given this inanimate object the voice I needed to hear. The soft gurgle tempted me to lie on the sand, gazing into the stars until their light blurred. Without a doubt, I heard His words and sought my rest in Him.
When fatigue overtakes you, listen to the gentleness of the breeze, the wash of the ocean, the trickle of a stream. It’s God calling you to seek renewal in Him. He’s asking you to obey. Christ longs for you to snuggle into His arms and simply rest. Go to Him where rest is complete.
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Cindy Sproles is the cofounder and editor of ChristianDevotions.us. She has contributed to Novel Journey and Novel Reviews, and Christian Devotions. She cowrites the He Said, She Said Devotions with Eddie Jones and cohosts both the He Said, She Said and Christian Devotions Speak UP! radio shows. Cindy is the coauthor of He Said, She Said: A Devotion Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion. She is a graduate of the University of Phoenix and her Devotions appear weekly in papers across the eastern United States. She is a popular speaker for women's retreats and conferences and also travels representing Christian Devotions and teaching at writer’s conferences across the country. Cindy is a featured writer in Faith & Finances: In God We Trust, A Journey to Financial Dependence. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.
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