REST – Part 1

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The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”                    – Exodus 33:14

Have you ever been frustrated or anxious? Have you ever worried about something all night so you either couldn’t sleep, or your sleep was restless? I have learned over my short life span that frustration, anxiousness, and worry all have one thing in common. They make me tired. Very tired.

When this happens I begin to lose interest in the activities that make me healthy. I lose interest in eating well and keeping active. I seemingly want to sit in my sweats on the couch and binge watch tv and not be productive. Needless to say – if I let this happen, I seem to just spiral out of control. I feel worse then when I started.

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This is definitely not where God wants us. I may think I want to sit in my misery, but I really don’t want to be there either. I realize quickly how difficult it is to get out of that place. I wish I wouldn’t go there to begin with.  Can you relate?

When I open my bible to Exodus, Moses becomes a great reminder for me of real life frustration and God’s presence with us. In Exodus chapters 32 and 33 Moses has reached a point of high frustration. He has been called to lead his people and even had the chance to receive the ten commandments from God himself on the mountaintop. However, while he was getting those commandments, his people lost sight of whose they were. They ended up creating a golden calf that they used to worship to. It angered the Lord and angered Moses.

If you read chapter 32 and the beginning of chapter 33 you can feel the frustration from Moses. When I read this story, I can easily place myself in his shoes. I know what that feels like when things make me so frustrated that I lose sight of God’s presence with me. But God is really there. He doesn’t leave us and he wants to provide us with rest. In order to receive that rest we need to lay down our frustrations, anxiety, and worry. We need to lay them at his feet. We can scream or cry. We can shout or whisper. It doesn’t matter how we get them there, but we need to leave them with God. In doing so, he will provide rest for our weary soul.

In chapter 33 Moses wants proof of God’s presence. By Exodus 34, God provides that proof. God passed in front of Moses and then made a covenant with him. We may not get to experience seeing God pass in front of us, but we can be assured of his presence. We can feel him near us as he wipes away the stress. When we can feel ourselves take a deep breath and relax our shoulders.  Thats when we know he is there – making us new and revitalized for another day!

Today find a quiet place to sit in God’s presence. Take deep breaths in and out. Relax your shoulders and hand over your frustrations, anxieties, and worries. Lay them at the feet of Jesus. Continue your deep breaths, close your eyes and thank God for his presence. Feel yourself relax in his peace. Rest in the peace and quiet for as long as you are comfortable.

STUDY – Exodus 33:12-23 – NIV
12Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15Then Moses said to him, “If you Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth.”
17And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

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