The picture of a little baby sleeping in the manger scene is such a picture of rest. Jesus born into the world helpless, harmless and at rest. God in Heaven at rest that His plan would unfold as He willed it. Angels singing.
Meanwhile at the castle (cue the ominous musical score) Herod stewed seeking ways to secure his power.
It is such a contrast.
We can study the baby sleeping and learn some lessons. The scriptures are filled with these pictures of rest.
This time of year, like many times during the year, is a time of diligence. There is so much to do and prepare but can I slow my mind or pause. Sometimes our body is not moving but our mind still is.
Here is a non-Christmas oriented reference but fitting.
"When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia." - 2 Corinthians 2:12-13 ESV
Rest was a barometer to Paul in his ministry. Sometimes we think completing the task will bring rest but in truth I must find rest first or else ask myself, 'Why am I working so hard?'
I was thinking yesterday about 'sin adding to sin' and how that process unfolds. There are the blatant examples like lying to cover a theft or to cover another lie. Things build and build causing a tangled mess but there are less visible examples like fear adding to fear or unforgiveness compounding upon unforgiveness... or lack of rest adding to lack of rest.
We know that if a person does not sleep for long enough they can lose their sanity. Perhaps Heaven sees someone who works and works without pause as spiritually insane.
Watch the baby. See His little chest rise and slowly fall as He sleeps peacefully in a dark world. Jesus the adult slept in the storm (see Luke 8:22f).
Walking with God means that our pace matches His pace. There is a peace for God's people. Grace labors in rest. It does much more in fact then any other thing can hope to do.
Today I am purposing to cast down the things that disturb rest. Those deceptive helpers will turn into accusations later if they are not dealt with decisively. Today is the day that the Lord has made... I want to rejoice... be glad... and have rest in it.