“Rest and Be Thankful” was inscribed on a rock upon the completion of an important military road in Scotland in 1750. The site is near a mountain summit and has a panoramic view down a valley and over a lake that is surrounded by mountains. The tranquility of the spot must have communicated something special to whoever came up with the idea for the inscription. It has since become quite a destination for people to enjoy this “beauty spot.”
Ah, yes. Rest and be thankful. Rest and be quiet. Peace. Calm. Tranquility. A human spirit at rest. How elusive in this frenetic and fast-paced age. Sometimes I have thought of the human race as being like a basket full of puppies. Wiggle. Squirm. Fuss. Whimper. Restless. Pushing. Shoving. Turmoil. Ceaseless striving. No rest anywhere.
Sabbath keeping is a reminder that there is a better way than the tired and wearying way of the world. Weekly Sabbath keeping according to the Creator’s intent brings perspective, refreshment, and a renewal of strength. It is also a wonderful reminder of the rest for the soul that is only found by being in a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus and all that He did in pouring His life blood out in our behalf.
A wide gulf separates “There is no peace to the wicked” of Isaiah 57:21 and “The peace of God that passes all understanding that guards our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus” of Philippians 4:7. It is painful to watch people look in all the wrong places for that which will satisfy the soul. It is also painful to see people happy in their deadness, with no appetite for more than being “good” people, or at least not too bad, enjoying the good life of the here and now with no thought for eternity.
Jesus said, “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Jesus Lover of My Soul,” addresses that place of rest. “Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly. Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee.” The true “Rest and be Thankful” spot is at His feet, drinking of what only He can give.
It seems to me that “Be Still and know that I am God,” as written in Psalm 46 is very important in getting life right. May we rest assured and be at peace, because He doesn’t neglect those who come to Him and want to be found reflecting on who He is.