The God Who Gives Rest
“Agitated”—stirred up—describes the human condition at times. It’s what a chemist does when she combines elements to form a new compound—she agitates them in a beaker, throwing them violently together so that they lose their old identity and gain a new one.
Human beings get agitated especially on the eve of new undertakings—a 6 year old is agitated on the eve of his first day in first grade; a 19 year old is agitated as she packs for her freshman year at college; a 29 year old is agitated as he leaves the security of a comfortable job to start his own business; and a 79 year old is agitated as she rolls on a gurney toward surgery which might, or might not, extend her life.
As human emotions crash against one another, we need someone to come alongside and answer our “20 questions:” Will it be okay? Do I have what I need? Why am I scared? Will you go with me? What if I fail? How do I reach you? Am I doing the right thing? We need a parent, a friend, a mentor, a doctor to turn off the agitator in us and allow our emotions to settle—fear over here, despair over there, joy and peace at the head of the line. Most of all, we need God to give us rest.
God has been giving rest to agitated souls since souls discovered their emotions. A great example is how he calmed Moses on the eve of a giant step in his life: Leading the children of Israel to the promised land of Canaan. In Exodus 33:12-22, Moses carries on his own round of “20 questions” with God: Whose going with me to Canaan? When will you teach me your ways? Have you forgotten these are your people, not mine? How will people know you if you don’t go with us? How will I be different from anyone else if you aren’t there?
The answer God gave to Moses is the answer he gives to us: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” God is the only one who can answer our 20-or-more questions. In his presence, our emotions find their rest.
God’s Promise to You: “You do not have a question for which I do not have the answer.”