Christian Devotions

Rest, Sweet Rest

The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

~~  Psalm 116:6-8  (KJV)

I keep remembering the words of the old hymn:

There is a place of quiet rest
Near to the heart of God.
A place where sin cannot molest
Near to the heart of God.

In a world where sin seems rampant and sovereign, I like to reflect on the fact that God keeps a small corner of stillness for our retreat. Some days that retreat is the only place of serenity in the entire universe.

People disappoint us either by accident or by malice. Circumstances frustrate us whether it is technology glitching or traffic jamming. And we let ourselves down by being less that we could or should be.

Most exasperating to me are the times when I come across something I intended to do and didn’t.

Those are the times I need to remind myself of my worth in God’s eyes. If there had been only one person in the world, Jesus would still have come as Redeemer. If it had only been me, He would still have gone to the cross. He’d have done it for you if you were the only one as well.

When we look at the price God paid for our salvation, we are reminded that we are not important because we are who we are – but because of the value He placed on each of us.

There is another old hymn:

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.

Look back at some of the older hymns and recognize the validity of the theology contained therein. When we forsake all the old hymns in favor of only new choruses, we lose part of our roots. Find an old hymn this week and think about the words and thoughts it sings.

Father God,
I thank you for this place of rest and healing near to your heart. Help me to see through all the miscellany of life to the reality of the one thing that is most important — my relationship to you.

 In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

First published here 13 September 2008

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Comments on: "Rest, Sweet Rest" (2)

  1. vondaskelton said:

    Judith, as you know, I’m primarily contemporary Christian music worshiper, simply because I truly became a Christian after that type of music had been introduced. The old hymns often remind me of the old Pharisaical me, living a hypocritical life of works, singing words by rote that carried no meaning for me.

    However, there are some hymns that will forever be in my heart. “It is Well With My Soul” reminds me that even in the midst of hardship, nothing can take away my salvation or my life in Jesus.

    “I Need Thee Every Hour” is as true to me as it was the first time I sang it with the belief that He IS there for me, all I have to do is access Him and His Truth.

    “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” is exactly what I did when I finally gave my life wholly to Him. For the first time I saw Him, His love, and His sacrifice for me.

    There are others, but these are great reminders of the truth that I now live with. “Oh, How He Loves You and Me!”

    Like

  2. Ah, Vonda. We need both kinds of music. You’ve listed some of my favorites.

    It’s just that some of the old hymns carry such great theology. “Breathe On Me, Breath Of God” is an invitation to the Holy Spirit.

    I’ll never forget the day I found it in the hymnal. My entire life changed that day. He did fill me “til all this earthly part of me glows with Thy fire divine.”

    In my world there are only two kinds of music. Either it praises God or it doesn’t. I love the former and can barely tolerate the latter.

    At this moment I ache to hug the stuffing out of you, precious girl.

    Like

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