EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
Read |Hebrews 2 - 4|
Resting patterns of the animal kingdom vary in weird and wonderful ways. The albatross is a sea bird that spends much of its life soaring as it hunts. There is not much time for snoozing, but apparently it can visually navigate during sleep in flight. The Swainson’s Thrushes are migratory birds and take hundreds of little power naps, lasting only a few seconds each. Meerkats spend their nights in borrows, sleeping in heaps, even sleeping on top of each other to secure warmth. Zebras are standing sleepers, able to lock their legs in a straight standing position that doesn't require muscle effort (this is called “stay apparatus”). Bats sleep 19 hours upside down all day. The desert snail can sleep literally for years! Bears can sleep even through pregnancy, rousing to give birth, but returning to their state of rest whilst their cubs nurse. Dolphins allow one half of their brain to sleep at a time. The left eye is closed when the right half of the brain sleeps and vice versa, allowing them to control their breathing so they don’t suffocate in the water. Still, some bees clamp their jaws onto a plant and fold their legs as they enter a state of rest.
Rest is part of God’s design and in fact there is something profoundly special about it. If we did not have rest, we would not have life and everything would come crashing to an exhausting end.
Genesis 2: 1-3 says:
So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation. (CSB).
God acknowledged His own rest and commemorated it in a special way. It is amusing to me when I read articles that suggest that the scientific community are baffled by the necessity of sleep to the human body. What they know for a fact though, is that if we do not rest enough we would deteriorate as our organ functions would become compromised. The medical community even induces sleep for those who are critically ill to aid healing and recommends rest to us when we are unwell.
However, the benefits of rest to body and mind that the animal kingdom experiences are a mere shadow of something deeper and richer. Even though rest and sleep can cause us to live many more years than without it, at the end of the day, it is just a temporary (though critical) relief. Just as food and water give us temporary relief from hunger and thirst, rest gives us temporary relief from exhaustion. However, Holy Rest allows us to metamorphosis into an imperishable glory.
Hebrews 4:9 - 10 says:
Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience. (CSB).
This Rest is only given to those who have endured to the end, to those who did not harden their hearts in the days of testing.
Hebrews 3: 12-14 says:
Watch out brothers and sisters, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that turns way from the living God. But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. For we have become participants in Christ if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start. (CSB).
Even though this ultimate Rest is fully manifested at the point of the end of a believer’s earthly life, believers can benefit from it now. As the albatross experiences rest in flight, we can experience a freedom when we allow God’s eyes to become our eyes as we navigate through life. As meerkats rest on one another we can experience wonderful comfort when we rest ON our Heavenly Father and the support of an obedient believing community. We can get our little power naps when we meditate on the Word of God and spend time in prayer. We get our rest when we lock into the Word, standing firm and fast unto its guidelines (that’s our “stay apparatus”). We can nurse our young with the milk of the Gospel and not yield to the stress and worry around us. We can keep our eyes fixed on God’s Word and breathe in the goodness of God, shutting out the filth of the world. We can clamp our jaws on the real food of the Word, remain in fixed position and enjoy God’s peace and rest.
And when we do these things we have life – rich and fulfilling life, right here on Earth, and then thereafter perfect, glorious and imperishable Life.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.