[F]or as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 12:9
On our recent vacation, we were both stunned at how late we slept. Then when we headed to the beach, we’d get a few pages in and the book would start waving, and our eyes would droop. Clearly, we didn’t realize how exhausted we were. But later in the week, we settled into the slower pace. We savored leisurely meals in the late afternoon. We read books for fun. (At least I did. Jon was reading seminary homework.) We took long walks and picked up shells. We spent an afternoon driving through a nature preserve to see what could be seen. (Not alligators.) We got up to see the sunrise and got a bonus dolphin sighting. We stopped to watch the sunset. There were no schedules. There was no pressure.
My husband jokingly told someone we were practicing for retirement. While that’s not too far away, I think it may touch something even deeper than the longing for the day when employment ends.
Not long before Moses’s death, he spoke to the nation of Israel at length, reminding a new generation of their heritage and their destiny. He recounted their time as slaves, their miraculous deliverance and God’s care and provision of them. This was all a prelude, he says. You haven’t taken possession of all that God has for you. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Their rest and inheritance were unmistakably tied to their obedience and adherence to the Law. You don’t have to read very far to see how that worked out. Obedience was incomplete at best, and more often half-hearted or non-existent.
Now fast forward a thousand or so years…
In Ephesians (in some of my favorite verses) Paul writes:
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
My inheritance and rest are secured by Christ, through Christ, in Christ. Every vacation, every retreat, every Sabbath is a taste of what waits for us. The exceeding riches of His grace.