Digital & Church Partnerships Coordinator
Rest & Joy
One of the best parts to rest is the enjoyment of God and His gifts. Can we enjoy God and His gifts through our work? Yes, most definitely. However, if God resides in the place of rest, then there’s even more of Him to know when we meet Him there. There’s more that He wants to teach us, show us, and let us experience when we meet Him in the place of rest.
In the beautiful story of Mary and Martha, found in Luke 10, Jesus teaches an invaluable lesson.
Mary is sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to everything He said. She was with Him. Martha was working hard for the preparations that needed sorting. She was angry that Mary wasn’t helping. She, quite boldly, suggests Jesus shouldn’t be allowing Martha to sit at His feet when there’s work to do! Mary should be helping. What Jesus says challenges our principles and our view of what’s important.
There’s nothing more needed than to abide with Jesus. Over what you do, no matter how small or great, what’s more valuable, is simply being with Jesus, sat at His feet, away from distraction. And there’s a joy to be found in Him through rest, that no amount of work will ever bring. There’s a joy to be found in Him through simply sitting at His feet, that no amount of doing can ever create. The more you do this, the more you’ll happily release control to Him, and it’s truly freeing. The more you do this, the more aware of His love, wisdom, grace, mercy, and beauty you’ll experience, and it’s needed for healthy growth. You’ll find joy in rest.
Joy isn’t happiness, it’s far deeper. Joy is the steadfast assurance that all will be okay, because Jesus has won.
Joy isn’t happiness, it’s far deeper. Joy is the steadfast assurance that all will be okay, because Jesus has won. Joy looks at the eternal, not the temporal. Joy keeps you going through the hardest of circumstances, where happiness can be gone in a moment. But how can we maintain our joy, based on a steadfast assurance, if we’re always moving and never stopping to remember where and who our assurance comes from?
If we’re to learn anything from the story of Mary and Martha, it’s that its far more important to be still at the feet of Jesus, without distraction, than doing work for Him. David said it beautifully in Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” When you rest, you have all the freedom “to gaze on the beauty of the LORD” and what could restore more joy than that?!
Make the commitment to choose rest. Write it down somewhere. Schedule it in. Tell a friend. Choose to enjoy God without distraction in the place of rest.