“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28
Despite the advertisements, rest is not found in any vacation spot, neither is rest found after retirement, or when the kids go on their own. Absence of work does not equal rest. Many people in our modern world, with all its conveniences, have little or work no to do… yet there is no rest in their lives.
Rest can be defined as freedom from strife, freedom from anxiety. But, apart from God, there is no rest: man cannot free himself of strife and anxiety.
Whether rich, poor, or in-between, we labour and are weighed down by the cares of everyday life. Many a book has been written about the daily stresses of simply maintaining a lifestyle commensurate with our peers/neighbours: i.e., “keeping up with the Jones”. We know the mental anguish that arises from maintaining the persona we have developed, or of trying to make people “like” us, or of developing a career… and on and on.
Life is full of endless tasks that keep us going around in circles, despite our best efforts to free our selves and get out of “the rat race”.
However Scripture makes it clear that peace, rest, is only found in God. It is only when we look hold on to the Master of the storm that we will have the peace we need to stand strong in it.
It is only when we appreciate/value the love of our Creator that we can learn to love ourselves.
It is only when we run the race on God’s track that we will stop running in circles, that we will have a finish line worth reaching, that we will have a goal that does not move further away every time we get close to it (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Hebrews 12:1-3).
Cain could find no peace, because he rejected God’s way and chose his own. Instead of offering the right sacrifice, Cain chose his own way and was rejected. Without God’s acceptance, Cain had no peace (Genesis 4:5-7). And without peace, he could not love his brother… so he killed him (Genesis 4:8). And, Cain spent the rest of his life on the run, never knowing peace, living the rest of his life without God’s grace (Genesis 4:13-14).
Let us learn to not follow Cain’s example. Instead, let us turn our “eyes upon Jesus”, let us “look full in His wonderful face”. “And the things of earth” all the things that rob us of peace, all the things that cheat us of rest, that cause us to strive, that make us weary, “will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace”.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:7