The idea of keying into God’s promise of “rest on every side” suggests the existence of multidimensional challenges confronting the believer. This is so, considering the social, relational, and economic hardships that trailed the recent  COVID-19 pandemic. The world is yet to recover from its aftermath. Only God knows how long it will take, or what may even follow, though the economies are beginning to open again globally. In the light of these realities, rest is one experience that everyone longs for. But, it seems hard to come by.

 

God does not leave His children in the dark. We have hope of rest as the documentation of Jeremiah’s experience and expression of confidence in God reminds us in Lamentation 3:20-24:

 

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore, I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly.

 

The concept of “rest” and “waiting” can be illustrated with the imagery of a mountain climber whose goal is to reach the summit as a mark of victory. over that mountain. Without a doubt, the task is arduous, but the challenge is surmountable. In this analogy, rest has two dimensions. The first dimension, which I term the “YES” experience is the ultimate – the result of beating all odds toward achieving the goal. with a deep breath of relief. This is when the climber can claim “possessing his or her possession.” However, this ultimate dimension does not happen without the intermediate dimension of waiting at different stages of the climb.

 

Prophet Isaiah emphasizes the importance of waiting on the Lord for one sole reason, which is for revitalization and renewal of strength (Isaiah 40:31). There is no gainsaying that The spiritual and emotional energies of many believers have been sapped over the past two years and need revitalization. In the context of participation in God’s mission, the foot soldiers (mission Goers) are only as revitalized as the mission Senders (Givers and Groaners). Goal setting for 2022 is useless with depleted strength and calls for courage. As the saying goes, you can only give from what you have. Senders need to be strengthened for missionaries to experience intermediate and ultimate rest in 2022. As God gives us rest during the year and beyond, His expectation for each of us is that we reach out and be of dependable help to others, including missionary member care, so that they also can experience rest – “You are to help them” (Josh. 1:14). Detlef Blöcher’s warning that missionaries “are worn out by personal concerns, frustrations and disappointment that deplete their energy and joy and reduce their effectiveness”[1] underscores the need for continuing member care.

 

Consequently, Jesus invites us to “come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mk. 6:31) In a nutshell, we are called to repentance (change our wrong thinking about God and His view about us and our situations) to experience His rest (Isaiah 30:15a). The promised ultimate rest (victory over our ‘mountains’) will be experiential as we trust Him daily and He quietens the noises that tend to overwhelm His hope-assuring still small voice – the antidote against soul drift.

 

[1] Detlef Blöcher, “ReMAP I,” in Worth Keeping: Global Perspectives on Best Practice in Missionary Retention

 

 

 

RELATED

Meet Laos
Meet Laos

Others may call it – logo but we know it as Laos (????), the Greek word for “The People” and by implication, God’s people, moving in the right direction and making progress one step at a time. The missio Dei (a Latin expression for ‘the mission of God’, ‘God’s mission’ or ‘the sending God’) is a quintessential concept for resolving the [...]

When to Pray “Remember me” with Confidence – 1
When to Pray “Remember me” with Confidence – 1

Mission, from the point of view of our human endeavor, means the committed participation of God’s people in the purposes of God for the redemption of the whole creation. Mission, like salvation, belongs to our God and to the Lamb. We are those who are called to share in its accomplishment.1The Book of Nehemiah opens with Nehemiah’s inquiry from [...]

Confronting Our Realities – II
Confronting Our Realities – II

Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money… to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord by applying it to [...]

Confronting Our Realities – I
Confronting Our Realities – I

You probably have tasted a sweet and sour sauce before just asI have many times. The sweetness comes from ingredients like fruit, syrup, or sugar, while the sourness comes from acidic ingredients like lemon, vinegar, lemon, or other souring agents. Experience in Christian Missions can be likened to the type of sensation or feeling that [...]

More Gladness, Less Anxiety
More Gladness, Less Anxiety

I congratulate you and your loved ones for making it into 2015 in style to the glory of God. There is no doubt that we all started the year with great expectations, irrespective of the various dimensions and shades of individual experiences in 2014. I have confidence in the Lord that He will help you [...]

Disbursing Acts of Gladness
Disbursing Acts of Gladness

God is the giver of gladness and uses the instrumentality of men or angels to deliver it to its recipients at various times and under various circumstances. His will is that we serve Him with gladness, either through ministration in worship, giving, or meeting the needs of those in spiritual, physical, material or nancial needs [...]