Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I'm laying on my tummy on the carpet in the living room, my Bible opened to this book called Hebrews near the end of all the books. I know a lot of Christians read their Bibles faithfully every day, or at least multiple times a week, and say it's very important to do this. It's a spiritual discipline. I've grown up that way, and I believe it's true, but I still haven't heard many Christians admit that there come seasons in life, maybe even long stretches of time, where it's hard to pick up the Bible.

It's hard to read it sometimes, when I've read it for so many years, and not lose the wonder. I haven't heard many Christians say that, even though reading the Bible is a very important way of getting to know God, like reading his biography, it's not the only way to know God. Anyways, this is a topic of conversation all by itself and not really what I intend to write about today, but I guess I need to preface with that confession. Sticking with the Bible without it seeming dry at times, while not the Bible's problem but my perception, nevertheless is no easy task, no matter what anyone says.

So here I am, reading in this book about the ancient Hebrews, how when they wandered for forty years in the wilderness. And this is the reason stated for the long wandering session: "And to whom did He [God] swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:18-19).

I've wondered for years, what exactly is the definition of this "rest" God refers to? It's clear that he's not pointing to some eternal rest in the afterlife, but a rest available here on earth, now. And they missed it, because of unbelief. Of all the disobediences we can have in this life, not believing God appears to have the most serious consequences. I think because we are refusing God's rest and so it robs us of life.

And it becomes more clear to me, for the first time, like God wrote it out for me on the chalkboard of a classroom: To rest in God is simply to trust him. To live in unbelief is to live without that rest. It makes so much sense, going back to that thought several days ago, that the hardest daily work I have is to wake up and trust him. It's the only thing he really asks of me. And he asks it because he knows it's the way for me to live fully, to live in that place of peace and rest.

The tears begin to fall, because when you're thirsty and not every day of reading this mystical, beautiful, mysterious collection of books is a day of revelation - in fact, very few seem to be - it is like water to the seeker and it is wonder. And I take the cup offered and drink it in, and thank God, that once more he would show me something about himself.

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