One of my favorite things to do on a dark stormy day is to curl up with a good book, relax, and ultimately take a nap. It’s one of the best times for me to forget all the things to do that swirl around my mind and just rest. After that period of rest, I feel refreshed, renewed, and better able to work through what needs to be done. Rest is not just something we enjoy but we are actually commanded to rest in both the Old and New Testament but since today’s reading is Hebrews 1-4 that is what we will stick with.
Hebrews 4:11 says, “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” We NEED to rest. It doesn’t say rest if you have the time or only rest when you are tired but instead it says to be “diligent.” I am diligent to eat dinner every night and I am diligent to read my Bible each day but am I diligent to rest every day?
We are reminded in 4:13 that nothing that we do is hidden from our creator. We might be able to hide our lack of rest from our friends and family but we cannot hide the truth from God. One day we will enter God’s rest in God’s Kingdom but until then let us rest from the turmoil of each day and focus on the one who promises us peace.
If you haven’t tried it already for the remainder of the time that you are reading through the Bible, before you jump into reading take a few minutes to rest. Turn off your phone, go to a quiet place, breathe deep, and be still. When you feel as though your mind is no longer racing then spend time in prayer and begin your study.
Thursday, November 3
An important lesson can be garnered from the life of Elijah in chapter 19 of I Kings. If you haven’t dealt with depression yet, there is a good chance you will at some point. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) So how do we deal with depression? I believe all the steps are provided for us here…
1. Sleep – Elijah had just been through a pretty significant experience. He challenged the prophets of Baal and God used him in powerful way. On top of that, Elijah then ran mighty fast for about seventeen miles using the “special strength” God gave him! When we are physically drained everything seems worse. And at this point Elijah was ready to die. “Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree.” ( I Kings 19:5)
2. Eat – God knew what Elijah needed. He let Elijah sleep for a bit and then sent an angel with some fresh bread and water. (Food directly from God must taste extra yummy and it was undoubtedly super nutritious too!) Then Elijah slept some more and the angel returned to make sure he ate again so that he would have the strength to keep going.
3. Go to God – The spent and sorrowful prophet headed to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. He needed some quality time talking to God and he poured out his heart to Him. Elijah was lonely. He felt like he was the only one left who wasn’t worshipping Baal. God, in a gentle whisper, told Elijah that it was time to anoint a new king in Israel and a new prophet to replace himself.
4. Remember you aren’t alone – Elijah wasn’t alone. There was a very good man in Abel-meholah that would become like a son to Elijah. There were “7,000 others in Israel who had never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” And whatever trials we may face as Christians, we can be assured that we aren’t alone either.