For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. Hebrews 4:10
You are probably familiar with Aesop’s fable of The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. The story has variations but the essence of the tale is that a goose laid one golden egg every morning for a poor farmer and his wife. Believing that the goose must be filled with gold, the foolish farmer killed the goose and opened her body to discover only normal goose gizzards, not gold.
The usual moral warns against greed. Yesterday a friend tweaked the moral to warn against the impatience in a workaholic’s never ending drive for more achievements. Not celebrating the golden eggs of our daily accomplishments can compel us to strive for another and yet another egg from the day. We kill the goose – ourselves or maybe our faith, creativity, balance and harmony with God and others.
Since I wrestle with the persistent urge to do one more thing or that nagging sense that I haven’t done enough, my friend’s application resonated within me. For the same reason, I have always been intrigued by Jesus’ words to His Father on the night of His betrayal, “I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do” (John 17:4).
Amazing! Think of all those who had not yet heard His message. What about all those who were sick, and hadn’t been healed? How could He say this?
Notice, He did not say all the work was completed but that He had completed the work His Father had given Him to do. There is a difference.
Whenever I feel depleted I remember some other words of Jesus, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Depletion may signal that I have taken on work that my Father has not given me or that I am shouldering a load He longs to share.
Learning to work hard and yet let go so that I can enter God’s rest takes faith. Learning that it is His work and I am only responsible for the part He gives me and that my real work is to trust Him takes practice. What about you? How are you celebrating your daily golden egg? What helps you to enter God’s rest? What goose will suffer if you don’t? Rest is related to faith, and is as godly as work in its proper place.
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