Saturday, January 02, 2010

Want Some Rest? (Andrew Murray #2)

(Josh & Beth Bentley, in Jerusalem)

(I’m reading Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ with some friends. I’ll be posting my comments, and any of theirs, here.)

Andrew Murray's second chapter "And You Shall Find Rest To Your Souls" is something you may want to print out, carry with you, and ponder. I see a lot of soul-unrest out there in the world. It's frantic. It's searching and not finding. It looks for things and stuff to "rest" in, as if one could purchase the most recent toy and the toy has the power to bring deep, inner peace. People are frustrated with their jobs, or lack of a job. They think "When I get out of this job...", "If I could just have another job...", "If I had a job, any job...", then I'd have inner peace. While I pray for friends who do not have jobs, and will be very glad when their job comes, I do not think any external thing or circumstance has peace-power. There's not a "peace-pill" out there, at least not a pill that brings inner shalom.

Jesus' answer is: he wants to give us his peace, a peace that this world cannot give. Jesus wants to give us his rest. There is a "resting place" in this life. And, this resting place is not only not an inactive, passive thing, but is the source of life, energy, and relevant meaning-filled doing.

Murray writes: "Simple though it appears, the promise [of rest for one's soul] is indeed as large and comprehensive as can be found. Rest for the soul--does it not imply deliverance from every fear, the supply of every want, the fulfilment of every desire?" (14) Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-29)

"Entire surrender to Jesus is the secret of perfect rest." (14) Is this hard to do 24/7? Murray suggests otherwise. Not resting is hard on one's whole being. Being fear-filled is no inner peace-sanctum. "Does it weary the traveller to rest in the house or on the bed where he seeks repose from his fatigue? Or is it a labour to a little child to rest in its mother's arms? Is it not the house that keeps the traveller within its shelter? do not the arms of the mother sustain and keep the little one? And so it is with Jesus."

Paul wrote, in Philippians 4:6-7:  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Who wouldn't want to live like that, and with that?

Print out Murray's chapter.

Rest in Christ.