By Jeff Foerster
“How are you?” – “I have been so-o-o busy.” How many times have you heard someone tell you the same, or even said it yourself? Amidst the action items, priority lists, or errands being run and yet to be done, where is rest?
Rest is a reoccurring theme found in Scripture. In the beginning God performed His creative works and then, on the seventh day, He rested. We find it again in God’s commands to His people Israel, and it even makes His top-ten list, telling them to weekly imitate Him in obtaining rest. As those invited into His family, to be His children, we are told that we can rest in the Lord Jesus Christ and upon His finished work. Done. Complete. Finished. Did you hear me?
In Hebrews we are told of a rest that had not yet been entered into by the Israelites. It was a rest beyond physical boundaries into spiritual ones. And again, in Revelation God reveals that we will find rest from the weight of this sinful world and all those who detract from the gospel of our Lord and Savior.
Rest is good. In seeking rest we acknowledge our own limitations and shout, “God is my Victor, His grace is sufficient for me!” In one month we have the opportunity as a congregation to do just that. Beginning in August and ending in November we at Elim are sending Pastor Brian Sharpe into a time of rest, a time of renewal.
This three-month sabbatical mirrors that which Pastor Martin entered into last year. It’s a time of declaring God’s provision for the church and a time of rest and renewal for Brian, that he may focus all his mind, his heart, his soul, and his strength upon the Lord. In doing so Brian is strengthened and prepared for the good works that God will do through him, which have been planned since the foundations of the world.
For us at Elim it brings opportunity to see the work that God is accomplishing here as larger than any one person. This period of rest can accomplish the same for us as it is accomplishing for Brian: serving to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. May His name be praised forever!