and who hold fast to my covenant -
these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Rest can lead to joy because it creates a new perspective in us. Rest reminds us that we don't have to be compulsively responsible for the world and everything in it. Rest reminds us that God is in charge.
Rest also leads to joy because it leads to a renewed relationship with God. As this text puts it, God promises to lead Sabbath-keepers to his holy mountain. In rest we can be led to a place of joy in God's house of prayer. It is a beautiful image of God rejoicing with people who rest.
Rest can also lead to joy because it restores us. It renews and re-energizes us because it allows us to balance our "being" with our "doing". When we cease doing for a time, our senses are opened again to the world around us. We can see life with new gratitude and awe. And gratitude and awe produce joy.
Rest frees us to be what we are - His creation. We are people who can work and play, give and receive, weep and laugh. Today we can balance our working, giving and weeping with playing, receiving and laughing.
Lord, I want to stop doing for a time today.
I want to stop and remember that you are God.
Help me to experience the freedom and joy of being your creature.
Help to keep the Sabbath.
Bring me to your holy mountain.
Give me joy in your house of prayer.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery