A few weeks ago, i went to New Orleans with my wife and daughter. You could say that we went for business and pleasure. We were at NOBTS as i explored the possibility of furthering my education. While we were there we were treated to some places that are special to “The Big Easy” and to those who call it home. Well, one of those places is Sal’s Sno Balls in Metairie, a community just down the road. Now, let me just say, if you are ever in the vicinity, don’t miss the opportunity to treat yourself to Sal’s; you can thank me for the suggestion when you take that first bite.
Well, the “sno ball” was worth the trip, so much so that we went one more time on our way out of town. But this is what i wanted to share, one of the things i was able to enjoy with my sno ball as i perched myself on an old cut log for a seat was the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the moment. That is something that i don’t often do, but should do more and i would imagine the same could be said for far too many of us. Genesis 2 tells us that God, after He created the heavens and the earth, rested from His work of creation. This was not that He needed rest, but rather that He had finished what He set out to do. In this “resting” bible scholars point to the idea that God stopped or “rested” because the work was complete, holy and as God intended it to be. Some say that the writer of Genesis when writing that God “rested” was set as an example to us that rest is a part of health and life for us as God’s creation. In some ways, like when Jesus told John that he must baptize Him. It’s not that Jesus needed to be baptized, but that He did it to set a pattern and standard of commitment for living.
So, that evening with my wife, daughter and the dozens who were there enjoying our sno balls, i enjoyed not only my sno ball, but took in enjoy some rest. It wasn’t that i fell asleep, but i found a point where i was relaxed and resting while enjoying a moment in time, a moment in my life–truly enjoying it–finding rest in it. And there upon that old stump seat of wood with sno ball in hand, i thanked God for my family, my life, and for a moment to enjoy some sweet and needed rest. In that moment, i checked of from the troubles of the world and the list of things i needed to get done when i arrived back home. Instead of filling my head with so many other things i filled my head with the joy of rest and the delight of a sno ball from Sal’s (Pina Colada if your curious–so good i ordered it on my second trip the next day)
Edwin R. Roberts of Princeton Seminary once sat under a pastor who concluded his announcements,“I am not going to take a vacation this summer; the devil never does!” Roberts went home and re-read the Gospels to see what Jesus’ attitude is. He found that of His three years’ active ministry, there were mentioned 10 periods of retirement! This was in addition to the nightly rest and the sabbath rest.
Every day is a day that brings us to a point of needing rest because of it. There is the need of physical rest, mental rest, emotional rest, and even spiritual rest. The concern is that too many people these days don’t take rest in any way, shape, or form, but we were created to need rest and when we get it, how refreshing, reinvigorating and restorative it is. It can come in many forms at any time in many ways, what’s important is that we take rest regularly because we need it.
And what is of comfort to me in my times of greatest need for rest is to know that Jesus can and will meet that need for rest, whatever type of rest we need.
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28–30 (HCSB)
Whatever you may believe, your body will prove to you that you need rest and my hope is that you would find your rest in Christ, the One in whom there is true rest for our mind, body, and soul. And sometimes that rest that we read of in Matthew 11 comes in the moments you least expect it, like enjoying a sno ball on a clear summer night on an old wood log. Not only did Jesus take rest and find joy in it, He offers that same rest to us if we will only come to Him for it.
You may never make it to Sal’s for one of those incredible sno balls, but i pray you find your way to Jesus and enjoy the rest that He freely offers.