HomeOpinion & AnalysisLabouring to reach spiritual rest

Labouring to reach spiritual rest

A state of rest comes after an initial motion or movement of something. Mobility of a thought gives momentum to an action or reaction. Rest can then only be achieved after the labour of the results of our thoughts. Inaction does not bring rest.

sundayword:BY PROSPER TINGINI

A classical example of this is found in the first two chapters of the Bible. The Spirit of God thought of an arrangement of the heavens and the earth and acted on that. He then laboured to bring His thoughts into reality. Thus, the light, the Heaven and the Earth, the seas, oceans and rivers, day and night, the living creatures, man and woman were created.

After finishing with His thoughts of action and works of labour, Genesis 2:1-3 then reads: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

So it is the same with our lives; on the spiritual side of it. We labour in our ambitions, in mental pain and distress, in our difficulty to forgive, and in our need to get to a spiritual state of rest. Emotional rest gives us peace of mind, security and freedom from labour. When the Lord our God laboured for six days to bring His thoughts of creation into fruition, He rested not because He was physically tired, No; but because He needed to take stock of His works and he was pleased. At each interval of His six-day creations, he took a small break or breather to reflect on His action and thought of mind (rest). It is written: And God saw that everything that He had made was good (end of quote). Rest signifies accomplishment.

We need to follow in God’s example whenever we labour with our emotions and actions, to take stock of our line of thinking. If someone has hurt us, can we forgive? If we are in mental distress how do we go forward? Many other mental agitations need to be brought to some form of emotional resolution to achieve spiritual rest.

A woman giving birth to a child is said to be “in labour” as per our terminology. In that situation, most women would cry out loudly in an effort to raise attention to their pain. It is a call for help. Had they “laboured” quietly, they would be giving birth alone and neglected in pain. Happiness and rest comes after the birth of the child, after the labour.

If we suffer quietly for the issues we can’t solve on our own, we will labour in spirit, sometimes with grave consequences like suicide. Help could be a few feet away. Failure to bring our problems to the right people can lead us to succumb to our afflictions. We need to act to get to a state of rest. Don’t do nothing about our mental tortures. If you labour alone in silence, God will not come to your aid. Seek Him and He will come to your rescue. By carrying the burden alone you are actually shutting God out of your life. He will not come to your assistance if you decide to bottle-up your emotional problems. However, if you call out to the Lord, He will send His angels who will take you to your place of rest. In the same vein, if you confide to those around you, or a trusted person, assistance can get you to a sphere of emotional rest.

However, some tribulations are meant to happen. Jesus Christ was anointed as our Saviour, for the forgiveness of our sins but He had to undergo a lot of verbal abuse, pain and suffering at the hands of man to achieve God’s set objective. It was God’s plan and it could not be changed. Faced with agonizing death and nailed to the cross He cried out to the Father, in agony. Matthew 27:45-54 reads: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness all over the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him”. (Another version reads: And another took a spear and pierced his side, and out came water and blood). And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

“Yielded up his spirit” in essence means that his spirit rested. He had reached his destined place of spiritual rest, after some hard labour.

Jesus was betrayed and ridiculed by man. He was tortured and crucified at the hands of man, but there was a purpose to it. Sometimes we also undergo the same kind of emotional torture at the hands of relatives, friends, associates etc. In Jesus’ example, we should always cry out to the Lord our God. However, even when problems persist, do not lose hope, have the strength to labour on. There is a destination for everything that has a purpose. At times we cannot come to rest until that which has been set by the Lord to happen comes to pass.

Matthew 26:39 reads: And going a little further from his disciples he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Even though he knew that his appointed hour had come, he still prayed. The Lord lets us go through some testing and laborious times for a purpose, so don’t stop praying. When we are through with the tests and labour pains, He will take us to the places of happiness and spiritual rest. He will lead us to where we are meant to be.

l Prosper Tingini is the scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: 0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com

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