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Good morning and welcome back to the Symphony of God Woman’s Bible Study Lesson series. Last week we took a look at the orchestra and compared it to the body of Christ. The orchestra, like the body of Christ is made up of many different musicians who play vastly different instruments. Each musician, each Christian, has a unique role to play, even if that role seems minor or insignificant. Regardless of what you think of your part, no role is insignificant to God, the composer of the music. Every musician knows that in any piece of music, sometimes you play and sometimes you rest. This week we will take a closer look at that rest, and why it is so important.
The Symphony of God Woman’s Bible Study Lessons
Did you know that rests are as important to a musical masterpiece as the notes are? Think about it for a second. How would an orchestra sound if everyone played all the time? The sound being made would not be considered music so much as noise. Loud, ugly, noise. Over the course of a piece of music, it is likely that every instrument will be required to rest. Sometimes that rest is merely a brief pause. Sometimes, like in the case of the Tuba part in Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the rest is quite long. Over the course of a concert season, there will likely be a variety of parts a musician is asked to play. Perhaps in one piece they will have a solo. Perhaps in another piece they will not play at all.
Regardless of the amount of music you are required to play, you are still part of the orchestra. Just because you are ‘resting,’ it doesn’t mean you aren’t engaged. Actually, sometimes it requires more concentration, more ‘engagement,’ to rest than to play. Why is that? Well, this rest is ‘attentive rest.’ The ‘resting’ musician is still keenly focused on the conductor. They are waiting on the conductor to give them the cue to play again. Or, they are counting the measures to ensure that when the music calls for them to play again, they don’t miss their entrance.
Why is attentive rest so important to our faith? Here are a few ideas:
Waiting on the Lord
Teach me Lord to wait, down upon my knees, ’til in your own good time, You will answer my pleas. Teach me not to rely on what other people do, but to wait in prayer for an answer from you. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings, like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord. Teach me Lord to wait.
We don’t like to wait, do we? We are so impatient, so driven, so busy. We like to control everything about our lives. The thing is… we can’t control anything about our lives. Sometimes we have the illusion of being in control. Often though, we have to deal with a situation that demands we wait upon the Lord:
- Waiting to overcome infertility and start a family.
- Waiting for our spouse or child to soften their heart.
- Waiting for the fight with our friend to be resolved.
- Waiting for a piece of good news from work.
- Waiting for relief from that chronic illness we have suffered with for so long.
It is in times like this that we are reminded just how critical it is to rely on God. We are reminded just how small we are… and just how big God is.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Just like a musician rests during a piece of music, waiting for his turn to play– waiting for the conductor to provide the cue– we too must wait on the Lord. In attentive rest, we may not appear to be ‘doing’ anything… but we never take our eyes off of Jesus. We never lose sight of the music.
Rest for Your Soul
Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 10a (NIV)
Did you know that rest in the Lord brings rest for the soul? The gospel replenishes. God’s masterpiece provides profound peace. Everyone who drinks of the living water will not be thirsty. Everyone who comes to Jesus will find rest for their soul.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
The Commandment to Rest
Our first introduction to God is when He created the heavens and the earth. Well, after toiling for 6 days, what did God do?
When God spoke the 10 Commandments to Moses, He flies through many of the commandments you would think needed special emphasis (‘Do not murder.’ ‘Do not steal.’ ‘Do not commit adultery.’). However, God spends more time explaining His commandment to rest than on anything else. God considers rest an essential element of our faith. Do we?
In Hebrews 4, the writer points out that this rest– this rest for our soul– is the promise of God to those who believe and are faithful. Rest is God’s promise to us. Why would we forsake that? Just like rest is vital to quality of an orchestral masterpiece, rest is a vital part of our faith.
It’s easy to spot when you are not at rest. For many women.. for many mom, there never seems to be rest. It is easy for some well-meaning person to remind you of the importance God puts on rest. However, life circumstances can make it a bit of a challenge to incorporate that rest into our lives. Fortunately, God can provide rest for your soul regardless of external circumstances. External circumstances may change, but:
- God is unchanging
- God is steadfast
- God is eternal
We strive to do more, be more, accomplish more. God says, ‘Be still.’
We fret, we worry, we wonder when it will get better. God says, ‘Wait on me. I will not fail you.’
A Time to Rest
In an orchestra, it is not only acceptable– but essential for musicians to go through periods of rest. Someone else is playing. It is time for someone else to shine. Our lives in the body of Christ are no different.
- You don’t have to do everything. That is why we fellowship with other people.
- You will have seasons of life where you are called to act. You will have seasons of life where you need to rest. That is fine. God built that rest into His plan. You are not slacking off. You are regrouping, recharging, listening for His direction.
- If it is time for you to rest— rest! Don’t fall asleep… but take a back seat, pay attention to the music. Pay attention to the conductor.
Listen for the voice of Jesus beckoning you to come to Him. Watch for signs that it is your turn to play again.
And above all– enjoy the music. The music is the best part!
Thanks for reading and I hope you will join me next week!