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