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God Gives Rest By Ed McDowell

Are you ready to receive his rest?

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Psalms 127:2 NLT

I write this near the beginning of a season of rest (sabbatical) granted to me by the Warm Beach Camp Ministries Board of Directors. I am so grateful for the gift. 

Here is the challenge – will I receive it, or simply fill it up with a very busy production?  It’s no secret that I like to work hard.  I like to create and produce.  The connection between rest and creativity is profound. I often underestimate this connection and try to do too much without it. 

Do you identify with this challenge?

Reflection

The opening words of this verse are “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night”.  I want to object to those words.  In fact, I have worn as a “badge” how many hours I have put in as if it communicates my significance and worth.  Consistently overworking is useless. 

One of the by-products of exhaustion is anxiety.  Predictably the next words in this verse are “anxiously working for food to eat” reminding us that anxiety follows fatigue everywhere it goes.  When we are constantly working there is this sense that there is never enough.  The anxiety list is common: food, time, money, health, and relationships.

The final words of this verse are an invitation to trust “for God gives rest to his loved ones.”  We are loved by God.  He gives rest to you and me.  Will we receive it?

Encouragement

Which of these words best describe you right now: useless, overworking, anxious, or resting?  You and I are not designed to work without balance.  Creation has rest built into it. God gives it in the simplicity of an hour taking a favorite hike, a cup of Java with a good friend, a nap, and a day without the demands of production.  God is providing rest.  Take advantage of this gift He has built into this world.   

Prayer

Dear Father,

Thank You for this reminder of rest. Thank You for the clear words about constant overwork, and the anxiety that comes along with it. Thank You for the gift of rest. Help us to receive it.

In Jesus’ name, we pray,

Amen

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Ed McDowell is the CEO of Warm Beach Camp. He has extensive experience in overseeing and directing ministry organizations, including stewardship development, personnel and organizational management.


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