One of my greatest joys as a dad is helping put together toys for and with my children. I’ve dutifully sat as the “Lego piece hunter” so my kids can complete the next step. I’ve attached wheels and hoods to power wheels. I’ve stretched springs passed the point of good reason for small trampolines. I’ve put together play shopping carts and I’ve built little furniture—including the frustrations of stripped threads and particle board flimsiness. Helping to build things with and for my children brings great joy and delight.
As much as I love putting things together—it is the joy of watching them play that puts a smile on my face. Building together—even with the “extra” help is reward enough. But, watching the fun they have with our newly built creation—that makes so much of life worthwhile. Right? If you are a parent, it is the moments and the times when your kids express unfiltered glee at playing as innocent kids. We love this and we long for this. My joy is deeper and more profound when I see my kids delight in our shared creation.
The same is true of our Lord! The Father is the Creator. Among the first images we have of the Father is of Him playing in the mud to fashion Adam out of the clay. One of the elements of our “God-bearing Image” is our joy in being like our Father. As we create we mimic the one who created us.
In reading scripture, I am convinced that as much as the Lord had a blast creating this world and us in it—His true joy is found in watching you enjoy the world that He has made. The Father takes delight in you as you take delight in the world. In fact, it’s wrapped up in one of His commands to us.
Sabbath-keeping is connected to creation and the work of our God. He rested on the 7th day. We are called to rest as well. The image that most readily comes to our mind is the Lord sitting back in His celestial La-Z-Boy, kicking His feet up, and taking a nap before dinner time. Well, at least that is what I do after a long day at work.
We’ve come to understand that rest looks like this. Sabbath-keeping means bland inactivity and boredom. Resting in the Lord certainly doesn’t mean fun, delight, or pleasure—right? In fact, rest can and does mean so much more than that. One word the Bible uses to describe this sacred rest—or more particularly, a resting place—has its roots in a place of tranquil felicity. In other words, the resting place of God looks a lot like peaceful happiness and joy.
What if resting in the Lord looked more like leaning into the unique things that God calls you to do that bring joy and delight to your spirit? Today, I invite you to dream up a better image of God’s rest and the rest He invites you into today. Not a La-Z-Boy, but that of a parent who has successfully build a new toy for a child and now gets to sit and play with that new toy. This is God’s rest. This is the resting place that God beckons you to enjoy. This world, as messed up and mixed up as it may be, was made for your enjoyment. The Lord wants to meet you in the midst of it and enjoy all that He has made.
As we come into the season of Summer, may you celebrate and enter into the Lord’s rest. Sabbath is a time of renewal, refreshment, and re-creation. So enjoy it. And be on the lookout for the Lord as He meets you in your delight.