I will start this post by saying that I am guilty. I am not the fountainhead of rest. Only Jesus can be that. I am just like you, a broken sinner in need of grace. Especially during the Christmas season. Furthermore, in my brokenness, I often convince myself “more = more”. But this is not true. The correct formula is “Trust = More”.
This can strike fear in our hearts because deep down we know that “Trust = Loss”. So logically we struggle with a world where “Loss = More”. However, in the beautiful bizarre economy of God’s Grace, His pruning (loss) is our flourishing (more). See below.
every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruitJohn 15:2
We all seek to avoid pain through various sanctuaries. These places promise: safety, intimacy, rest and worship. These attributes are the “MORE” we all desperately long to acquire. Unfortunately, when we trust in false Sanctuaries we believe the lie that “aquisition” rather than “Trust” will mend the pain.
The power of Romans 8 (see below) is discovered through loss. In a ferocious benevolence, God tears down our false sanctuaries and shepherds us under His banner of “Trust”. This loss is both painful and merciful.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
We are prone to run life’s marathon in pursuit of a distant horizon. But rest is not found there. Apart from the Gospel, the horizon never nears. In the end we will be like Santa unplugged in the front yard. Crashing to the ground, completely out of gas. True Rest is ACTIVE. It is a spiritual action of worship. A celebration that the horizon of Hope has come and is now under our feet. It is an active embrace of God’s promises. It is a beautiful place where we learn to trust Christ in the midst of loss and labor.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6
Christ loves us as a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemiesParaphrased from Westminster Shorter Catechism Q26