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Rest and Looking Back <3


We have beautiful sun today and deep snow all around us. The past few days have been a story of snow falling and blowing under white – gray winter skies. 

This was Russ’s first “snow days” lock down. In years past he would have braved the dicey roads and been at his desk working his magic as plants, trucks and trains fought the elements around the country to get product where it needed to be.

He handled it well, but I have to wonder about the adjustments he has made in his quiet way. I would have processed all of it in multiple disjointed conversations. He, instead, shoveled and listened to podcasts and made plans for what he would do when he could get out and about again. 

Stores in our downtown have been closed for three days now and while I am sure they are anxious to open again, after the months long lockdowns of 2020, what’s a few days in the grand scheme of things?


That’s what we have been forced to do unless we work one of those jobs that requires you to show up no matter what. 

So today I am looking back to some notes I took regarding rest and what God has to say about it. 

Last year I used The Message Study Bible by Eugene Peterson to do my annual read through. With Peterson’s additional commentary and “contemplative reading” days, I made lots of stars in my journal indicating I needed to go back and dig deeper. 

One of those areas was right at the start of Genesis when God established the Sabbath for us. 

I am paraphrasing the way Peterson translates it this way in Exodus 31: 12-17:

Keep the Sabbath – the sign between you and Me —> to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy. Keep the Sabbath. It is holy to you. There are six days for work – but the 7th is the Sabbath, pure rest, holy to GOD.

paraphrase notes on Eugene Peterson The Message Exodus 31:12-17

And then the passage ends:

Yes, because in six days GOD made the Heavens and the Earth and on the seventh day he stopped and took a long, deep breath.

Exodus 31:17 The Message, Eugene Peterson

Does that hit you as it did me?

Pause and read through that one more time and then imagine God, after He spoke all of creation into existence just stopping. 

And as He surveys all of it…all that can be seen and unseen with our eyes…He takes a long, deep breath. 

Like, God sighed. 

I would imagine He might even have thought or whispered…it is finished. 

Much like His Son did when the redemption of this now-fallen creation was completed on the Cross. 

Peterson points out in his commentary notes that rest is a central factor of Christian living. 

He says two things happen when we rest:

1. We understand where we have come from

2. We understand where we are going

commentary on Hebrews 4:11 The message, Eugene peterson

He says that when we rest, we can see God’s providential hand and how He is led us to where we are. 

Resting means we have to stop what we are doing and in stopping we realize that everything does not depend on us. 

Everything really depends on God. 

We are part of His work in our activity, but if we do not stop and put our hands and minds down from the constant “doing” and acknowledge that we need to take a long, deep breath our focus becomes fixed on ourselves and our efforts and we fail to see God’s hand and strength in all we have done. 

How do we Sabbath rest?

As I am digging into this patch in my journal that I marked with a star and several notes, I feel a study coming on…are you up for looking at how we apply this? 

I hope so and I hope you will join me <3

Until then, rest well

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