Southern Rest

The band Cage the Elephant had a song that went something like this: “There ain’t no rest for the wicked / Money don’t grow on trees / I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed, and ain’t nothing in this world for free / Oh no, I can’t slow down, I can’t hold back even though I wish I could / Oh no, there ain’t no rest for the wicked / until we close our eyes for good.” It’s a catchy song trying to explain why people do bad things by saying that it is the only choice they have in this tough world that will not give them any respite.

Is this true? Do we have no other option than to lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to get by in this dark, evil, fallen world? I will submit that living immorally seems to make life easier, at least for a time, but you will always get caught, and then what has your easier path gained you? You now have a punishment that may or may not fit your crime.

“Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid,” remarked the great John Wayne. Since life is hard, and trying to be evil ends up with consequences, how do we get a break from life’s toils?

The Bible has many answers. Christ said “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29 NIV).” Psalms 55:22 avers “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” 1 Peter 5:7 adds.

The Lord will not allow us to be tempted with anything that we cannot handle ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:13). This means that there is no excuse for falling into and getting stuck in temptation; however, it can get exhausting. In cases like this, we are to rely on God to sustain us. Yes, we can beat these temptations and hard times by ourselves, but we need God to strengthen us when we tire.

Over the past two weeks, I have worked two days due to snow and ice cancelling school. During this “Snowcation”, I have been able to rest. I slept in, relaxed with my wife when it was too dangerous for her to go to work, and recharged my batteries. It was really good for me personally to have this break.

As rewarding as this physical rest was for me, God offers a spiritual rest that is much more valuable. The fleshly body is weak and requires more rest than the soul, but this does not mean that the spirit is eternally unflagging. Worry can not only tire the body, but it can stress out the soul. If we give our worries to Christ, He can carry them for us while our soul rejuvenates.

Take time to visit the Psalms and Proverbs. Find respite in God’s word. Soothe your soul in the Gospels. Rest in the writings of Paul. This world is rough, but God protects His children from life’s storms.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.

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