There are times in life when God calls us to a period of rest. Not rest, like lay down and take a nap but real rest that results in a quieting of our spirit. This quieting, which brings true peace, takes time. Let’s look at Noah * – his name in Hebrew actually means ‘rest’. After spending 100 years being ridiculed for building a boat nobody wanted to board (not much of an evangelist was our Noah) I think the guy deserved a rest! Once finished with the boat he must have been ready to kick back, put his feet up and cruise.
I can imagine his thoughts, “A flood? No problem – my ark is epic!”
Instead he gets this, as even the tops of the mountains succumb.
Have you ever been in a situation like that – maybe from a job loss, an illness or a move? You were working hard, following God (or maybe not) and things starting going wrong, piling up until you felt about to go under, inundated with fear, confusion, frustration … You felt empty, alone, forgotten, trying to figure out what’s going on….
In reality, Noah spent about one year in the ark, not just the forty days it rained. Do you think God told Noah: Ok, here’s the deal, mark your calendar because you’re going to be in the ark exactly 363 days? I don’t! Noah had no idea how long he would be in the ark, how long the storms would last, how long before the flood was over or how long it would be before he would see solid ground. All he knew: he had to build a boat because a flood was coming.
How do you think Noah felt in those 350+ days of water strewn madness? Do you think he ever asked God, “how long before this is over?” You know he did, he was human. Hebrews 11 tells us.
“By FAITH, Noah became an heir to righteousness”.
Where do you think that faith was built? I bet it was built in the ark. Building the ark was obedience; riding a storm out without throwing yourself overboard takes faith! It was during the storm Noah learned to quiet himself and trust. Noah discovered how to rest, to become who he was destined to be as he waited for the flood waters to subside.
Are you feeling inundated with life and all its uncertainties? God promises to give us rest (Exodus 33:14, Isaiah 14:3); it’s how the rest comes which often perplexes us. Begin to build your own ark now by learning to get quiet before the Lord for there is safety and refuge in His presence. Why else would God put a guy named ‘rest’ in the biggest storm ark ever?
Resting Practice (Or How to Build Your Own Ark):
1.Set a timer for 5 minutes
2.Take a deep breath, inhaling as much as you can through your nose and exhaling through your mouth
3. Repeat step 2
4. Picture Jesus in your mind, focus on Him and sit quietly until your timer goes off. If your mind wanders bring it back.
5. Repeat this scripture a few times either aloud or silently: “He gives rest to the weary, He gives rest to the weary, He gives me rest.” (Mt. 11:28-30)
Practice this technique daily building up to twice a day and more. Remember, it won’t happen overnight. And let me know how it goes!
Now, open your Bible and mark these additional scriptures about rest: Job 25:2, Psalm 29:11, Isaiah 26:3, Luke 1:79
*If you’re not familiar with the story of Noah you can read about him in Genesis chapters 6-9.