• July 31, 2017
  • #9196

True rest does not come from the absence of storms, but from the presence of Jesus in the storm.


Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a word about rest.

When I think of rest, I think of having the freedom to sleep in on a Saturday morning until what… 8:30, 9:00 AM, with no ringing telephone. For me, rest is meeting all my deadlines and using my computer to enjoy watching a John Piper sermon. Rest could be just sitting in the backyard with Ken and enjoying the hummingbirds. Many of us picture something like this when we think of rest, but when it comes to “resting in Christ,” quite a different picture is painted. Let me illustrate it with this quote from Henry Drummond. He puts it this way:

“Two painters each painted a picture to illustrate his concept of rest. The first chose for his scene a still, lone lake among far-off mountains. The second painter threw on his canvas a thundering waterfall with a fragile birch tree bending over the foam. At the fork of the branch, wet with spray, a robin sat on its nest. Now, the first painting was only stagnation. The second was rest, for in rest, there are always two elements—energy and tranquility, turbulence and silence, destruction and creation, fearfulness and fearlessness. Thus, it is with Christ. Christ’s life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived: tempest and tumult, the waves breaking over Him all the time. But His inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there. At any moment, you might have gone to Him and found rest. Even when the bloodhounds were dogging Him in the streets of Jerusalem, He turned to His disciples and offered them, as a lasting legacy, His peace, His rest.”

You know, all of us can identify with Jesus’ tumultuous life when He walked on earth: constant interruptions, late nights, early mornings, serving others, and even rejection, lack of understanding from His best friends. But Jeremiah Chapter 6 verse16 tells us what to do in those situations. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths. Ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls...’”

Those may be ancient words, but they’re so needed today. Because I'll be the first to admit that it is hard, it’s challenging to carve out times for rest. How is it with you today? Do you find yourself precariously perched over a chasm of some frightful predicament, much like that robin above the waterfall? If you are following Christ, it is doubtful that He is leading you by an idealistic quiet lake scene, far from the madding crowd. You are in the storm of things. You are feeling the winds of adversity. And there is nothing stagnant about that. So, let the waves roar, inside your heart can be a sea of glass when you rest in Jesus.

I think that’s why I'm so grateful for my wheelchair. It has me constantly sitting. And when I am, let’s say, sitting in an airport or our plane is late, or I'm waiting for luggage at a baggage carousel, these all become small seasons of rest. I'm sitting down anyway, why not rest? Why not enjoy waiting? Why not look inward and find your heart can be a sea of glass? If that is your heart’s desire today, then pray with me, would you? Lord Jesus, sometimes it seems I’m in the eye of the storm with the winds of change and fury whirling around me. But that’s okay. I’m in the eye of the storm where You are, where it’s calm. Thank you for resting me there. In your name, Amen.

© Joni and Friends


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