My friend Bruce sent me this picture recently. A very restful scene from Nova Scotia. I can almost imagine myself sitting in this gazebo whiling away the hours looking at all those beautiful flowers. Nice place for a vacation; Bruce must have had a ball!!! Rest is a hard thing to come by because the reality of life is that we are all soooo busy that taking time to relax often just never gets on our agenda. But spiritually, rest can be a reality....
Hebrews 4:1-11 (WEB)
1) Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.
2) For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard.
3) For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4) For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, “God rested on the seventh day from all his works;”
5) and in this place again, “They will not enter into my rest.”
6) Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter therein, and they to whom the good news was before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience,
7) he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”
8) For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.
9) There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
10) For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.
11) Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
(Hebrews 4:1-11, WEB)
Rules and regulations are hard work. Imagine trying to keep 413 of them? This was the problem faced by the faithful Jew and no matter how hard he worked... sooner or later, he did something wrong. The good news is that Grace solves the problem. Jesus as high priest of a new covenant has done the work, now its up to us to follow him and receive mercy when we make mistakes. To me, that means a relaxation better than any time spent in any gazebo, anytime, anywhere. Rest accompanied by love is the very best thing I can possibly imagine.