The Dancing Puritan

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Vacation



It would be a tragedy of tragedies to get to the end of this busy, noisy, anxious, and difficult life only to find no rest beyond the grave. Imagine an eternity with endless toil, worry, restlessness, and no sleep. Such a thought should cause fear and trembling.

Just outside of my door the waves are crashing and people are resting beneath the sun on Daytona Beach. This is vacation. Some people live for vacation, others long for it, and many imagine that they have no time for such frivolity. For those that make the investment and travel the miles they are looking for rest, renewal, and restoration. Perhaps they are on a search for peace.

God built rest into the very order of creation.  He gave us six days for hard-work. Those days are for making a living, mowing the lawn, and engaging in all of the normal stuff that it takes to make life work. One day in seven is ordained a special day of rest. A day of rest is not the path of total inactivity but it is a call to take a different path. Why did God build a day of rest at the front of the seven days that he created?

1.  To show us that we are not indispensable.

       Cemeteries are filled with indispensable people.

2.  We are not super-human.

3.  We are ultimately dependent.

4.  We need a full day to pause and focus on God more intently.

5.  This present life is not the end of the story.

God has built a day of rest as the vital fountainhead to a week of work. We need this day; it is a gift from God. He also gives us rest amidst our daily trials (Psalm 127:2). He sometimes gives us seasons of relative rest and peace. Those seasons may consist of a day, a week, or longer (especially if you are from France).

One of the distinguishing marks of Hell is that it is a place of restlessness. There will never be a moment of laughter, joy, peace, or sleep in Hell, not even one second.  God says of hard-hearted people, Therefore I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest' (Psalm 95:11).

The times of rest that God gives us now are pointers to a future day of rest to those who are His children.  The Sabbath is a reminder that God is good. It reminds us that in the midst of the heartaches of this life that there is hope.  Every restless night now is a reminder to the Christian that one day he will enter into a peaceful eternity where Christ is present in grace.  The real meaning of vacation is to create a longing for Christ and eternity. Don't miss rest now and especially not then.