Coming Close: Disturbed Rest

Peet DickinsonIt is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.  Anything that disturbs rest in Him must be cured at once, and it is not cured by being ignored, but by coming to Jesus Christ.” – Oswald Chambers

We had just arrived in Oxford for the first time to visit the city and seminary that would eventually be our home for three years.  We didn’t know anything about the city and where we should stay, so we went online and found a B & B that seemed reasonably priced and fairly centrally located.  Hindsight being 20/20, I should have known better than to book a room in a place called “Eurobar Hotel and Café.”  Let’s just say that it was more of a “bar” than a hotel or café.  We got to our room exhausted after the transatlantic flight and journey up to Oxford from London and it wreaked of smoke, but it looked pretty clean at least it was quiet.  Well, that didn’t last long.  Just as we had fallen asleep, it started – just below our room was the thumpingest stereo that has ever been made by man.  Boom, boom, boom, boom!  All night long it went and there was no rest no matter how many pillows we tried to put over our heads and no matter how hard we tried to ignore it.

Saint Augustine famously wrote in a prayer to God in his Confessions (c. 397), “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”  More recently, Oswald Chambers wrote in His Utmost for His Highest, that we shouldn’t “be anything less than absolutely complete in [God].”  When we are complete in God, our hearts are at rest.  That’s what we were made for, and yet there is much that disturbs our rest.  There is the thumping that comes from the Evil One.  There is the thumping that comes from the broken world all around us.  There is the thumping that comes from within our own tainted and sinful heart.  Do you find yourself being restless?  Do you find yourself trying to cover your ears, or worse, trying to ignore the thumping?

That night at the Eurobar Hotel and Café, I was restless and that made me angry, and because I had an interview at the seminary in the morning, I began to become more and more desperate for rest.  Do you know what finally gave us rest?  We checked out of the Eurobar Hotel and Café and went to stay in a room at the seminary that they kindly offered to us for the rest of our stay in Oxford.  We departed from the thumping that disturbed our rest and found peace in the welcoming arms of the Body of Christ, our brothers and sisters at Wycliffe Hall.

What is disturbing your rest?  What is keeping you from being absolutely complete in Him?  Ignore it no longer.  Come to Jesus Christ, and find beautiful rest.

Abba, Father, I am so easily disturbed by the thumping of this fallen world, and in my sin, I try to ignore it all and pretend like I’m resting.  I know there is no rest apart from you.  I am never complete until I am resting in your everlasting arms.  I choose to depart from those things that are disturbing my rest, and I come to you once again, Jesus, my Savior and Lord.  Amen.