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Rest in the Fall

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Dear Saints;

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I made it home from Vietnam in one piece (physically) and began a new life in the fall. Or maybe it has to do with the pleasant autumn days of an “Indian Summer” I used to spend in the Colorado Rockies. Even in the South Florida climate without dramatic seasonal changes I find this time of year more enjoyable. Whatever the reasons, my enjoyment of the end of the year reminds me of a time to rest, relax, and enjoy the scenery. To me this experience is what the Bible refers to as the “Sabbath Rest”.

Psalm 92 is referred to as a “song for the Sabbath” and describes the sure experience of all those who put their trust in God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness. The natural man doesn’t know or understand that even though the “wicked and evildoers” spring up everywhere and flourish, “they are doomed to be destroyed forever.” Neither do our natural minds realize that the Lord is “on high forever” and his “enemies shall perish; all the evildoers shall be scattered”. This poetic language of the psalmist simply means that God ultimately wins even when it looks like he is losing.

The basis of the “sabbath rest” is not the absence of opposition from the “wicked” or “evildoers”, but that God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. The Psalmist says, “My horn you have exalted like that of a wild ox; I am anointed with fresh oil” meaning that God has given us supernatural power and sustaining grace through the comfort of his indwelling Spirit. We can see “those who lie in wait for me” and “hear the evildoers that rise up against me”. In other words, we can handle anything that comes against us! Being made righteous in Christ we shall “flourish like the palm tree” (upright, useful, and fruitful) and “grow like a cedar in Lebanon” (stately, majestic, and incorruptible). In short, there is no way possible for us to lose.

For me the fall is a good time to enter into that Sabbath rest of knowing that God is in charge and freely gives us all things we need despite whatever opposition we may face. Several years ago, my wife and I took a trip north to enjoy the autumn foliage. Through the hills of Tennessee my mind became preoccupied with all the discomforts of getting older…physical ailments and chronic pain, increasing responsibilities with decreasing energy, and virtually no plans for retirement. After wasting time feeling sorry for myself and antagonizing my wife, I finally broke down and prayed about my situation. The Lord gave me my choice. He said I could continue to complain about getting older or I could rest in him and enjoy the “fall of my life”. Instead of worrying about the coming days I learned to enjoy the beauty of the “changing leaves” in the present time.

The psalmist promised that growing in grace “they shall still bring forth fruit in old age.” That fruit he describes as being full of vitality and rich in love, trust, and contentment. As believers we are living memorials “to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to his promises”.

John

 

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