Rest in Peace

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 3 & 4

Psalms Reading: Psalm 4

New Testament Reading: Matthew 3

Cheese. If I had to pinpoint a single food that will assure tossing and turning, vivid dreams, and even a bit of snoring, all it takes is a serving size before bed and a restless night is almost guaranteed. Nevertheless, if cheese alone caused distress in my sleep, it simply would take some discipline in my diet to cure this issue. My resting is subjected to more interruptions. The rumblings of my mind often disturb the counting of sheep more than the rumblings in my gut. Thinking about the stresses of work, school, family or reliving the failings of my day can be the late night double feature playing inside my head. Without the perspective that comes from God, it is hard to find rest.

“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7

“Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4: 4,5

Like Cain, the source of this restlessness often stems from some type of disconnection from God. We are hanging on to something that the eternal God has made clear is His area of reckoning.  Our past. Our future. Our sin. Our fear. Our stress. Our anger. All of these are the cheese that is gumming up the works of the rest we can find in God even when we are weak and heavy laden. Continually turning towards the issues provides anything but relief, further stalling your slumber.  Furthermore, sin is waiting outside our door when we choose to act without the “green light” of God’s will. Instead of searching your finite mind for an answer, humble yourself and seek the face of the infinite God. 

This works well beyond the confines of your covers. It can be found behind a steering wheel when you are driving away from another argument, sitting at a desk reminded of the endless list of things that you won’t get done today, or kneeling behind a closed door drowning in depression of loss. The solution is the same in all situations: worship God Almighty.  When we are reminded of who He is, we don’t have to hold the answer because He has readied one and is holding onto us. While it’s possible to receive revelation in these moments (James states that our God gives wisdom generously to all without finding fault), the answer we may receive is His presence into our mercy, fears, and shortcoming, which is the relief we so desperately need to quiet our minds and catch a few winks. The silence is not rejection or a stalling tactic. The silence is the peace that comes from trust in the Lord so you can rest in peace.

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

-Aaron Winner

Reflection Questions

  1. Where could your life use a little more peace? Where have you looked for it?
  2. What do we learn from the narrative of Cain and Abel regarding peace, and also the lack thereof? What do we learn from David’s example in Psalm 4?
  3. In your Bible reading today, what do you discover about God and his character? Thank Him for it.

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