His Rest is Rest…
Sometimes I am so weary, so tired, that I just want to enter into the rest of my Lord. Have you ever pondered on that? Have you ever felt the desire to just move on and be in a greater place of peace in the shadow of our risen Savior? While it is true, one may move into the next life, being unshackled from this mortal coil, and into the rest of the Lord, one may also enjoy fully His rest during our mortal sojourn, and perhaps with greater joy and peace, for His rest is rest.
Joy and peace does not come easy. When Alma and Amulek witnessed women and children entering into the rest of our Lord by way of fire, at the behest of wicked men, it was evident that neither Alma nor Amulek were feeling joy and peace in the moment. Nevertheless we know that they at least received wisdom from the Spirit to know that all will work out for the good of those who must suffer, either in person or as witnesses.
Last week I wrote of the following story as perhaps one of the hardest to read of all scriptural writ. We read in Alma 14:10-11, “And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames. But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto Himself, in glory; and He doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which He shall exercise upon them in His wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.”
Yes, those innocent women and children entered into the rest of their Lord and did feel joy and peace upon their arrival in His grace-filled presence, but ultimately Alma and Amulek were not left without comfort and the two were able to, in this life, enjoy the rest of our Lord.
I am comforted and strengthened in understanding like unto Alma and Amulek by the words of a beautiful hymn, “Where Can I Turn for Peace?”:
“Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?”
“Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.”
“He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching.
Constant He is and kind,
Love without end.”
In my Gethsemane I am comforted and feel the peace and rest of my Lord even without entering that long night of sleep, while still remaining here in the day of my mortal life. He, our Savior, is here with us always. The evidence of His love is everywhere I look. Even in the deepest moments of my loneliness and sorrow, when my greatest mourning and yearning for His presence emerges, I find He has surrounded me always with guiding love and the soft touch of His peace-giving hand. Knowing that God has a plan for me, that He has a plan for all of us, and that He will ever provide a pathway to our healing repentance and return to Him, is rest enough, before eternal rest.
I love Jesus Christ my Savior. I find rest and peace in His loving grace. In spite of all of the hardships, pains and evils of the world, I know that God is with us and is here to give us comfort in sorrow, salve in pain, peace in hysteria, and rest in fatigue. He is the very Prince of Peace long foretold, and we may always have rest in Him as we are willing to lay our weary heads in the place He has prepared for us. Indeed, His rest is rest. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.