rest allows a driven person to trust.
Driven people work to meet a goal. Goals are great: they can keep us focused through a school project or bible reading plan. Goals are not necessarily bad things, but sometimes being driven leads to the solo sport of striving when we miss the point and try to do it all ourselves, not realizing that God already has and will. We get busy trying to keep it all going and fail to realize that we are not in control.
Chapter 16 of Exodus (2nd book of the Bible in the Old Testament) tells us about the Israelites, in the wilderness, learning to trust in God. They just experienced God miraculously delivering them from slavery in Egypt and still had a hard time believing God would do what He said He would. God instituted the Sabbath, a day of rest and no work. He also promised them food, manna, every day, but on the 6th day they needed to gather enough for two days so they could enjoy the gift of rest. Gather too much on days 1 thru 5 it would go bad, and it did. Day 6, gather enough for 2 days because on the 7th there would be no food. Some didn't listen and when they took more than enough it spoiled and when they looked on the 7th day, there was none. Trust...God did exactly what he said he would.
Over the years, Jewish religious leaders would add to and tweak the laws of the Sabbath for their own design. God made it a gift and they made it into a day of rules. When Jesus arrived on the scene he wasn't too pleased with all the man-made rules and laws added to the gift God gave out of love to us and our need of rest. Jesus was not a huge fan and tells everyone "...the Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath." (Mark 2:37 NLT) This was shocking to the religious leaders and even many who followed Jesus. This is amazing news for Christ Followers! Just like the story of God's provision in Exodus, we can trust that God and Jesus have already accomplished what we need, He is enough.
Last week we talked about resting our bodies physically. This week rest and peace come through trust also. Are we trusting for God to provide everything we need? Are we satisfied with enough? Jesus' invite to follow him is an invite to the unwavering confidence trust allows and of the gift of rest.
[more about this invite in week 4, stay tuned]
Jesus pace of life during his years of ministry can serve as a guide for us too! He would go out and teach, and teach and then retreat to spend time with his father. We can learn a lot from his life, and the book of Mark in the New Testament is filled with examples. Below are a few. Take time this week to read them either alone or with a parent. When you are done, discuss what you find in common in these verses and then talk about ways you could apply it to your own life.
And lastly, ask your parent or other trusted adult to tell you their own "God moment," a time where they saw God working when they trusted or learned to trust more. Maybe you have a story of your own to share!
'Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. '
Mark 1:35 https://bible.com/bible/116/MRK.1.35
'The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done
and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his
apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they
could be alone. '
Mark 6:30-32 https://bible.com/bible/116/MRK.6.30-32
'Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head
across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye,
he went up into the hills by himself to pray.'
Mark 6:45-46 https://bible.com/bible/116/MRK.6.45-46
'Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before. When he returned to
them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
And they didn’t know what to say.' Mark 14:39-40 https://bible.com/bible/116/MRK.14.39-40