Do you long for a resting place; a place where you can stop and rest after an activity filled day? Do you desire to go to somewhere calm, serene and undisturbed for a short break or holiday? There are so many beautiful resorts all over the world that one can go to for a retreat or family vacation. But the irony of life is that a person can be in a quiet, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, yet the person is not at rest; the person's heart is agitated and disturbed. True rest does not necessarily come from one's surrounding but from the state of a person's heart.
In Luke 8:22-25, Jesus and His disciples were faced with a storm. The atmosphere was certainly not one of rest. The wind and the waters were raging and their lives were in great danger. The disciples were troubled and worried. They felt they were about to drown. Jesus on the other hand was having a nap, completely unperturbed by everything happening around him. In an unsettling environment and situation, Jesus was resting peacefully.
David had spent days in quiet caves (1 Samuel 22:1), lonely deserts and hills (1 Samuel 23:14), but do you know what he discovered? It is only in God that a person can have and find true rest. He rightly said in Psalm 62: 1 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him". It is in God alone that our souls, our hearts can find rest.
Often times, Jesus withdrew to quiet secluded places to rest (Matthew 14:13, Luke 4:42, Luke 6:12). But He never returned the same way He left. He returned with clearer vision, renewed anointing and a deeper commitment to His purpose. Why? Jesus didn't just go to quiet places to feel among or to have it as part of his profile that He has visited some unique and exotic places. Jesus went to rest in God.
Restful atmospheres are good but there's a limit to what they can do for anyone. For example, a quiet resort can give you a break from the hustle and bustle of life, busy roads and noisy generators, but you can come back from a week at the most serene resort and still be carrying the same burdens you had on your shoulder before you left. Only Jesus can lift up the burden a person is carrying and give the person rest (Matthew 11:28).
We all long for REST. Rest from all our troubles and struggles, rest from labours without any result, rest from enemy attack. In our search for rest, we try so many things. Take a break, go on a holiday, organize personal vigils and prayers, change our job or line of business, some even change church. But despite all these efforts, many of us still haven't entered into our rest.
Psalm 91:1 offers us the most effective resting place ever built or created. That verse encourages us to rest in the shadow of the Almighty, to make God our resting place. By daily making God our habitation, our dwelling place, our refuge and hiding place, we shall experience REST. The shadow of the Almighty; the presence of God is the best place to run to when danger abounds. It is the place to hide when evil arrows are flying over our heads. It is the most assuring place to go to whenever we are confused and don't know what to do or where to turn. When you are tired and weary, the presence of God offers a comforting place for renewal and rest. Burdens and yokes are shattered in God's presence. God's resting place is absolutely free. You don't need money, an international passport or visa to get there. All you need is absolute trust and faith in a God that never fails.
As you cling tightly to the God of peace and allow the Word of God become what you daily eat and drink, like Solomon, you shall soon testify that "the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster" (1 Kings 5:4).
Tesh Njokanma is a lawyer by training whose heart is in writing. She is a prolific writer with over 15 years experience as a magazine Editor. She is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God with a prayer and teaching ministry. Tesh is married with children. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria.