"Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)
School's out for the summer, and the heat is on in Eastern Oklahoma. That can only mean one thing - it's time to play in the water! Tristan, Katie, and I did just that yesterday when we ventured to one of the local splash pads. They enjoy soaking in the cold water and I love soaking up the sun (with the occasional cool down) while memories flood my thoughts. The kids laugh at me every time I tell them that one of my favorite things is the smell of sunscreen on their skin. Regular old Coppertone sunscreen. It's been around since I was a kid, and fills a huge space in my memory. That smell conjures up images of all the time spent in the pool or on the lake as a kid and those memories epitomize summer, and rest and relaxation. As an adult, I now know that all that time was not entirely restful for my parents. But yesterday in the sun, with the smell of sunscreen all around, and the cool mist blowing off the water toys, I felt that rest for a short time. The rest that is almost absence of responsibility and freedom from things that press in on us from the world.
Life has a tendency to come at us hard sometimes. Circumstances change, jobs change, we lose people that we love, and kids go through rough spots. It would be nice if we could, like the school kids, just hang on until summer vacation, and then get away from it all and find some rest. The rest that we are looking for really doesn't come from time off, or sun, water, and sunscreen. It isn't even rest that we can get in a vacation. The rest that we need is really the peace that God gives us through His assurances and the hope that we have in the cross.
Life takes us down many paths and oftentimes we have to make choices. When we get there, we should pray, ask God for direction, and take the way that is right. Let me just say, the way that is right honors God and builds your relationship with Him. That is not a promise of easy, but it really can bring rest. Rest comes from knowing that your full trust is in Jesus. He is willing to be your Protector and Provider. Psalm 62:5-6 says "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken."
I can't go to the splash pad every day. I can't even walk memory lane every day. I CAN place my hope in God every day. I CAN trust God's promises every day. That means every day can be a day of rest. I hope you find some today.