Fast and furious. Does that sound like your life? Although, at times there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete things, I haven’t gotten the nerve to ask the Lord to stop the sun and moon, as Joshua did when he needed more daylight to defeat the combined armies of five Amorite kings attacking Israel. Joshua 10:12-14 (NLT) records the unusual event as follows:
On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, "Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. There has never been a day like this one before or since when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!
His task list was a bit overwhelming for even the mighty warrior Joshua to handle that day, but the Lord had assured him of this (verse 8), "Do not be afraid of them," the Lord said to Joshua, "for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you." Few of us face the daily assignments Joshua tackled, but most of us understand the frustration of a daily schedule of work and activity that can leave us exhausted by the day’s end.
A restless spirit within a person can push him to strive to achieve and perform beyond the Lord’s expectations. When every minute of every day is scheduled far into the future weeks, months, and even years, there is little time left to rest. A frantic, fast and furious approach to life leaves no time to linger in the Lord’s presence, meditate on His Word, and be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
Father God is our example of disengaging from the fast and furious life. He spent six days creating the heavens and earth and everything in them, and on the seventh day, God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation (Genesis 2:1-3 NLT). Isn’t sitting back and relaxing after a hard day’s work satisfying? Father God stopped to enjoy the task list He had completed, and He rested. If He rested, we need to, too…regularly and deliberately.
If His example isn’t enough to convince us to slow down, consider Jesus. Because He only did what the Father asked of Him, He maintained an attitude of peace and rest, knowing that doing the Father’s business was all that was expected of Him. Even when He was at His lowest moment in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ approach to the situation was not frantic, fast, or furious—intensely sobering, yes, but not hysteria. At that most challenging time, I can almost hear the Father echoing His words to Joshua to encourage Jesus, “Do not be afraid of them, for I have given you victory over them.” There is rest for us when we limit ourselves to doing only what the Father expects.
If we allow the Lord to have His way, Psalm 23:2 says, He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. And that’s why we need to slow down and rest. There’s no other way to restore our soul than to soak in the Lord's peace, quietness, and presence.
Max Lucado, a well-known Christian author, says, “The Sabbath was created for frantic souls…people who need this weekly reminder: the world will not stop if you do!” Take time this week to let your soul rest!
© 2023, Chris Custer Werre