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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the Lord had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war.”—Joshua 11:23 (NLT)
Moving from one home to another is stressful. It’s crazy, hectic, and involves so much. There are several rounds of negotiations, legal documents, large financial transactions, packing, moving, unpacking, painting, decorating, and settling in. Honestly, I’m pretty sure I missed about a dozen other things moving entails. The point is moving takes a lot out of you, but that moment when you’re all settled in is so amazing.
You’re officially moved out of your old place, gotten everything signed and paid for with your new place, all of your stuff is pretty much where you want it, and then you have that moment . . . that moment where you sit on the couch, survey the landscape, and exhale. Sure, there may be some work ahead—maybe you want to paint, redo the kitchen, put up some new fixtures, pay to get the TV hung up with no cables showing and LED lights behind it—but the worst is behind you. You can breathe; you can rest. I have experienced this a few times in my life, and I can tell you the moment of rest is always so sweet.
When I read this passage, I am certain this is what the people of Israel felt once they had taken control of the entire land. After 40 years in the desert, after tons of bloody conflicts, they got to exhale, knowing and seeing the Lord fulfill His great promise. Joseph Benson explained, “God had promised to drive out the nations before them: and now he had fulfilled his promise. Our successes and enjoyments are then doubly comfortable when we see them flowing to us from God’s faithfulness to his promise.”
Friends, there is a powerful lesson at work here for us: Don’t forget to exhale. Don’t miss those moments of rest where you get to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s work in your life. We need these moments to a) rest in Him and rest in general, b) be reminded of who God is, what He’s done, and how faithful He is, and c) have the perspective needed to walk into the next season of what God has in store for us.
When was the last time you exhaled? When was the last time you took a moment to breathe in all that God has done during the current season of your life? Don’t wait until heaven to rest. Be intentional about finding periodic moments as you see the Lord work.
DIG: Why did the author make sure to tell us this all happened “just as the Lord had instructed Moses”?
DISCOVER: What does rest mean to you?
DO: Set aside 15–30 minutes today to rest and reflect on what the Lord has done. Then pick a time in the next month, and every month thereafter, to have a true time of rest.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.