Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

rest-areaRest is currently the word reverberating through various sectors of my life.

That usually means I should listen.

I am reading through the Old Testament—slowly but surely—and currently find myself musing through the prophesies (and historical context content) of Isaiah, son of Amoz. There are many utterances and proclamations of doom and destruction for all who have chosen to abandon their Creator—The Creator—and line after line of what most would sum up with the word despair. However, my eye caught a couple interesting verses, including this one:

This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.

The fifteenth verse of chapter thirty in the book of Isaiah tells us that only in resting (in the Holy One of Israel) will we be saved. That doesn’t make much sense, but the second line reinforces that our strength is found in quietness and confidence. (Remember, Paul says in the New Testament this:

Three different times I begged the Lord to take [my weakness] away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

And we’ve all heard this before, from Isaiah chapter 40:

Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

I keep coming across this idea of rest. Perhaps it’s because I am tired. I am overburdened right now by pretty much all areas of my life. I live most days on the edge of tired (or even exhaustion). My constant thought is of when I will be able to rest.

So perhaps my subconscious mind is pushing this “rest” theme out in front of me wherever I turn, whatever I do. It could very well be that.

Or maybe it’s that what I’m really looking for is truly what I need.


There are times when rest eludes us. Busyness is one of the seasons of life. (And its ebb and flow are constant and yet unpredictable through all of the other seasons of our lives.) But from what I’ve been reading from Scripture lately—listening hard for the words spoken by my Father—is that I am best when I rest.

Not just sleep… or a good afternoon nap. Real rest. Soul rest.

How that comes is still a bit of a mystery to me. I know a big part of it rests on my ability to live out my trust of Father. The more I try to retain control of my life, of everything around me, the less rest (or peace) I have. I know this. From experience.

But is it that simple? Maybe. God says it plainly enough, and often enough, that our life is found only in him. Him. Not (just) his teachings, or principles, and definitely not what we do for him… but in him.

“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.”

That last line: But you would have none of it. We can read it like an angry, (justifiably) vindictive accuser, shouting passionately a righteous and correct judgment upon one who has failed.

Or, we could read it as a loving Father, who so longs for his beloved to know the fullness and richness of living loved.

More from Isaiah, this from chapter forty-two:

“He will not crush the weakest reed
or put out a flickering candle.
He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.”

The very nature of Jesus—who is in very nature, God—is rest. Peace. Quiet confidence and strength.

And when we are in him—all of us, only in him—then we, too, know rest.

So, I know this stuff…

Now it’s time to live it.

Thank you, Father, for your wisdom, patience, understanding, and incredible grace and mercy.

And for your Rest.


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