A Restful Slumber

A Restful Slumber

Pastor Robert Zemke

There are various reasons why people may say they feel tired. Some individuals may have just finished exercising, gone for a long walk or had a strenuous workout, and require some rest to recover. Others may be tired of their situation at work, in their family or in a relationship. Dealing with stressful circumstances can be exhausting, and we all face them. Responding with love and patience is often necessary. We are aware that we cannot escape our problems, but we still yearn for rest - a sense of peace that is free from the day's worries that invade our hearts.


Damion Jurado's song, Silver Joy, likens the experience of waking up in the morning to a time of rest and peace that points to Eternity. In the song, he describes the daylight shining through the trees and pleads for not being disturbed. He wishes to sleep in the slumber of tomorrow where there is nowhere to be, and all worries are left behind. He wants to be kept on the ground, with all his worries behind him, until Eternity begins.


Eternity is where eternal rest exists. There are no more problems to address, and all worries are left behind. For Christians, they are always living in the already-not-yet, where Christ has come to give us new life, eternal life, but we are still sinful and live in a world filled with trouble. However, we can experience peaceful slumber when we contemplate God's presence and enjoy his creation.


Van Morrison's song, Hyndford Street, also speaks of a restful slumber, recalling a time when he was at peace. He describes the silence that he felt on Hyndford Street, where he would listen to the wireless playing Radio Luxembourg, and the voices whispering across Beechie River. In the quietness of the moment, he would sink into a restful slumber and carry on dreaming in God. Perhaps heaven will be like this, where we won't be looking back to remember or regret, nor waiting for the future, but the present will be so filled with peace and joy that leaving it and contemplating the future or remembering the past would seem foolish.


Yet, we can experience this for brief moments during our day or sometimes longer stretches. We need to put ourselves in situations where we can enjoy God's creation, contemplate his goodness and grace, and appreciate what he provides through his providential care. Social media and other issues, such as the mental health of youth, the war in the Middle East, the presidential election, and the growing theological divide in the church, can invade our peace, but it will all pass. We should not make too much of current circumstances and be consumed by them. We must play our part by obeying the Lord today, resting, and longing for our eternal rest, or we will be no good to anyone.


We can experience this rest by coming to Jesus. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." As Augustine wrote, "We are restless until we find our rest in thee."