Christian Author: Nancy W. Boyer

Finding the “Second Rest”

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Ever feel so tired, that your eyes will not stay open?  It may be at work or in the most unusual place.  “Just give me some rest and I will be just fine!” one may say.

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sleep on subway

As we can see from the candid shots taken of people in unusual sleeping positions and places, things are not always “just fine”.

Dog sleeping

When athletes run, they talk about finding the “second wind”. It may be harder for us to find a “second rest”. We, Americans, are used to what we call the “rat race” and to slow down and get in touch with ourselves and inner life is a more difficult task.   We rarely take time out for ourselves….pushing to the limit…hurtling off to the next goal….making for ourselves a “dog’s life”…well, not this one!  He seems to have it made!

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John Wesley wrote a hymn, called Love Divine, which may have some insight on how to find the second rest.   These are a few of the words:  “Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven to earth come down;fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, Thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art; visit us with Thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast.  Let us all in Thee inherit; let us find that second rest.

  Take away our bent to sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith, as its beginning; set our hearts at liberty….”

I have high-lighted some of the words that seems to me to  bring us to a second rest and a liberty… not bondage or fear.

  • We first have to humble ourselves to God and His purposes for us.
  • God then will enter into our hearts even if we are afraid and “trembling”.
  • The Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit then comes into us in our troubles.
  • It is from this that we find a second rest and liberty. 

One may ask when we had a “first rest”.   I would dare say it was when we were innocent and leaning on the breast of whoever took care of us as a child.  sleep child As we grew older, it may have been a restful time in life when we did not have to meet head-on the troubles of life…finding food, shelter, a job etc.  Someone did that for us.   For some that first rest ended far sooner than for others.  Those who had to grow up in poverty, war, or a family who made drugs their way of life….reality for the growing child may have come harshly. We, as adults, call it the “weight of the world”.   Some say there is no rest, but God tells us differently.    He says to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross for He will pick them up…or even spiritually pick us up as a famous poem by Margaret Fishback Powers tells us:

One night I dreamed a dream.

Cannon Beach, OregonI was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets
of footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me
and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
There was only one set of footprints.
I realized that this was at the lowest
and saddest times of my life.
This always bothered me
and I questioned the Lord
about my dilemma.

“Lord, you told me when I decided to follow You,
You would walk and talk with me all the way.
But I’m aware that during the most troublesome
times of my life there is only one set of footprints.
I just don’t understand why, when I needed You most,
You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child,
I love you and will never leave you
never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints
it was then that  I carried you.”

Whether He carries us or just gives the peace that passes all understanding, we will find that second rest.    

(This blog dedicated to Carol McMichael, who has found her eternal rest.)

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