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The gift of rest

What promises, blessings, and answers to prayer are you missing because of the noise in your life?

Give a one-year-old a toy drum and that child will keep banging. Nonstop. Until Mom or Dad can’t take it anymore and pull the drum away.

“WHAAAAAAA!” the little one screams, unable to handle the idea of losing this new noisemaker.

The noise is addictive, and so is the thrill of making sound to break the silence.

Even adults struggle with silence. We prefer to hear the daily grind of our productivity, the sound of voices on video, music on our playlist, or the white noise of a busy schedule. Why?

Because silence can really bother us too. Being alone can feel scary. There’s nothing to distract me from facing the real me. My real fears. My real letdowns. My real guilt. My real feelings that I’ve been bottling up. My feeling that I’m alone in the silence.

So I cover it all up and binge on Netflix for another week or work so much overtime my head spins. It becomes an addictive pleasure to hear the noise I create, like a little one-year-old with a drum.

Press the pause button

In the Third Commandment, God calls us to rest, to “remember the Sabbath” (Exodus 20:8). That word sabbath is the Hebrew word for “rest.” God is saying, “I want you to give me the drum, the Netflix login, the overtime schedule, the noise of busyness. Give it to me. It doesn’t save you. Remember to rest. Rest in me.”

God rested on the seventh day after spending six days creating everything in the universe. He shows us the value of pressing the pause button. He certainly didn’t need the rest. He saw that his creation was “good,” and he said so often, but his creation needed one more thing: rest.

God wants you to rest. To pause and enjoy him and his gifts—especially his spiritual blessings. That’s why the Bible says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).

God has many promises you’ll be able to hear without all the noise.

Enjoy the silence

So when you’re afraid of the silence, of taking a rest, remember that resting is a work of faith. Believe that if you give God the noisy drum of constant activity, you’ll start hearing more of his promises. Jesus gives his word to anyone who is overwhelmed, overworked, or over-worried: “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

One of my daily prayers is for rest and peace. I confess that I too often try to plan, design, analyze, create, and manipulate my own peace. I confess that I foolishly look to find rest in the numbing noise of viewing a screen. Then I joyfully remember that rest and peace are gifts of salvation. I don’t need to make them or find them. They are already mine.

God Almighty put down his tools and rested after creation. Jesus the Savior rested in a silent, borrowed tomb. There’s a pattern there. You should rest too.

So what promises, blessings, and answers to prayer are you missing because of the noise in your life? Push the pause button a few more times this busy season and enjoy the silence, the recovery, the gift of God doing the work for you.

Author: Daron Lindemann
Volume 109, Number 11
Issue: November 2022

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