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"Rest Stops"

I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."

Psalm 91:2

Driving up I-5 to our daughters home in Northern California my wife and I pass by a lot of turn outs known as "rest stops". They advertise them along the road for travelers far from home. A "rest stop" is designed to be a safe place to pull off the road to catch some sleep, stop and rest on a long drive, maybe stretch and use the restroom if needed. At 58 years old I need "Rest Stops" more and more when my wife and I travel. I also see along the way those signs that say "next fuel (x amount) miles" and its obvious someone who has traveled the road before has placed that sign there as a warning if you don't have fuel you might not make it to the next gas station and end up stranded along the road. No one truly appreciates those signs unless they are unfamiliar with the area.

Did you know you have to work at rest? It really is true, friend. To rest properly it takes work. Behavior scientists tell us that the average vacationer doesn't start their vacation until almost 72 hours into their vacation because it takes time to convince ourselves we are actually on vacation from being on the go so much.

The children of Israel during their wilderness journey collected extra manna on Friday so they didn't have to gather any on the Sabbath so they could rest and devote that time to the Lord. Studies show that when people plan a vacation it takes one week before the actual vacation to plan for it and then the week to take the actual vacation and then a another week after vacation is over to fully recover from the vacation they just took. Vacations don't sound too much like rest from that study. Ha! I think that is why the Lord gave us a model for rest. God rested from all His work on the 7 th. day. He commanded the children of Israel to rest from their labor on the 7th day as well and when they failed to do so they were disciplined by the Lord with 70 years of captivity as repayment for each Sabbath they skipped over the course of 490 years. God knows we need rest, a day set aside to connect with Him and to rest from our own labors.

As followers of Jesus we don't have any particular day that God has said we are to rest. The Old Testament Sabbath was established between God and the children of Israel. New Testament believers learn that God has said that man was not made for the Sabbath but that the Sabbath was made for man. It's just smart to rest. Animals needed rest to perform in the fields. Hired help needs rest to perform their jobs to the fullest. Children and adults need rest to be alert at school and work. Yet, in America it seems we just go and go and go. Like the old saying regarding shopping, "Shop until you drop" most of us apply that same method to everything we do.

Of all the things the Lord has for you today loved one I am certain He wants you to rest in His love. Take some time from your labor and find a rest stop. Realize just like the signs on the freeways were placed there to communicate to people unfamiliar with the way that they need to rest, they need to make sure they have the fuel needed to reach their desired destination. Rest is important in that we don't know what lies ahead for us and where our journey of faith might take us. People who knew the way placed those road signs on the freeway to assist us when we travel. God knows that you and I have never passed this way before. God knows we aren't as familiar with the roads of life as we might think. That's why God tells us in His Word to stop, to rest and get refueled. Life is hard, loved one, and the road is long. Trust that God knows best and take advantage of the rest that is made available in Jesus Christ today, stop and smell the roses and enjoy some time alone, just you and Jesus!

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Psalm 62:7


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