Rest in the Lord

“The Lord protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.”
                                                                imagePsalm 116:6-7
Our family has a new member – Wesley, a 9 week old toy poodle.  We are all worn out from days of chasing around this little ball of fur, and short nights punctuated by the need to walk a dog with a tiny bladder.  It’s like having a new baby in the house.  But my heart melts every time I hold this little handful of energy and fur.
Wes, as we call him, is full of energy when he wakes up.  He chases after our feet, jumps up on legs like springs, and keeps us on our toes running after him.  He’ll go non-stop like an Energizer Bunny for two hours, and then let out a yawn, curl up and fall asleep on my lap.  He lets go of all effort, and rests on me with complete trust that he will be safe.  His body limp, his eyes closed, Wes rests on me with utter contentment, confident that I will be there to care for him while he is asleep, and still there when he wakes up to feed him, to play with him, and to love him.
God invites us to rest in the Lord with the same trust and confidence in the Lord’s love and care.  We work hard at jobs, at caring for family and loved ones, at school.  From time to time, we need to let go of all of our effort and rest in the Lord, recognizing that the world will go on without us and life continue without our help.  We can let go of all our work and effort, and trust in the Lord to keep things together while we sleep or rest from our labor, and to be there to love us when we resume our activity.  That is the meaning of sabbath, the ability to relinquish control in the recognition that life doesn’t depend on us.  We don’t carry the world on our shoulders. God is in control, and we can rest in God’s care just as innocently as Wesley rests on my lap after two hours of crazy activity.
So work hard and play hard, and then rest in the everlasting arms of God’s love to be renewed, revived and restored by the one who has dealt bountifully with us.
Prayer:  Eternal God, when I was just a thought in your mind, you created all that is, and even now your power controls all of creation.  Your power is exceeded only by your love, the quality that most defines your being.  Help me to rest in you, to let go of all my strivings and trust in your power and love.   Renew my soul and restore my spirit so that I may continue to work for the glory of your kingdom, trusting in you and doing my part to achieve your will.  Amen.
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