Sabbath invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest, the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance. – Wendell Berry
While I was playing golf one day, a herd of deer ran onto the middle of the fairway. A spot of rough appealed to them, so some laid down while others grazed. As we watched, they were at total rest – no sign of concern – until my buddy drove our golf cart through the rough.
Isn’t it remarkable how we can be at rest one moment but frantic the next? Wouldn’t it be awesome if every moment could be free from anxiety and struggle? Not for just a couple of minutes, but rather rest on all sides at all times.
It sounds good, but is it possible?
In 2 Chronicles 14, we read of a king named Asa. King Asa was young, but he had a heart for the Lord and trusted God with his position. Shortly after he became king, his kingdom came under attack by an enormous army. Since battles were fought via hand-to-hand combat, Asa was understandably nervous. So he prayed, “Help!” (2 Chronicles 14:11). The text tells us the Lord answered:
“So the LORD gave them rest on every side.” (2 Chronicles 15:15)
Rest on every side… Isn’t that a powerful phrase? Think about it – if God had given them rest on most sides, that wouldn’t be authentic rest, would it? Not at all. For true rest, every side of the kingdom must be at peace.
Are you experiencing rest on every side, or do you find yourself in combat? Perhaps you’re in conflict with people you love. Maybe you’re looking cancer in the eye, about to enter the battle. Perhaps your marriage is in perpetual conflict and you long for peace.
Where can we find rest on every side?
Good news: we don’t have to wait for death to experience rest. God’s promise of rest is in the here and now, and it’s our choice whether or not we enter it.
Lord, I want to face the unknowns in life while being completely in Your rest. Let Your Spirit lead me into this promised rest on all sides. Take back areas of conflict and empower me to trust You. Do Your supernatural work in that area of my life. Amen.
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