The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
What does it mean to be given rest? Most of the time we have to find places to rest. We live in a society where work is so highly valued that many of us have become workaholics. Slowing down for rest, or simply taking time to rest has become so difficult that we have to plan ahead to do it.
When Moses had this conversation with the Lord, I imagine he was tired. He was called to lead God's people into the wilderness, and Moses said to God, "you have been telling me to 'lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me." (Ex.33:12). I wonder what that felt like when God said His presence would go with Moses and the people, and that He would give Moses rest.
Have you ever been in a situation where you have been called to lead and felt overwhelmed and under qualified? Have you ever felt lost without someone else to lead you or felt relief when someone else stepped in to help or take things "off your plate?"
The type of rest the Lord promised to the Israelites was not simply rest from a days work. He promised the type of rest where they could begin to settle down, grow roots, and truly rest in the rhythms of God's grace.
This is the type of rest the Lord promises to us. While many of us long for rest from the hardships and stress of our daily activities, the Lord promises a rest that penetrates our lives more deeply. The type of rest that transforms the core of our being so that we can rest in the presence of the Lord.
In what way is the Lord offering you rest, and are you slowing down enough so that you can recognize it?