The Grace of Rest


When God extinguishes our light so that night follows day, long shadows spread over our cities and towns. With the hours of the night and the darkness in which life becomes enveloped, we gain the rest of sleep. It is a steady cycle in our lives by which God’s mercy gives new grace to his people – when the eyes are closed and our tired limbs stretched and the hunted spirit sinks into stupor. The rest of sleep spans a third of our existence. One who dies at the age of ninety will have spent nearly thirty years in sleep’s rest as it gives reanimation, quickening, and renewal of the strength that was spent. Rest for our conscience, rest from our sins, rest from our labor, rest from our fellow human beings, rest from our enemy, rest from destiny’s pursuit. In order to attain the quiet flourishing and soft thriving of a pious life, we have a great need for the enjoyment of that rest…

This does not mean that godliness and piety cannot flourish also in the busiest lives…But then piety is awakened precisely because of the tension caused by the tremendous responsibility they wake up to after falling asleep. God can be found also in storms and thunder, but the greatest majority of people meet God first in the quiet whisper of a cool breeze. A quiet life fosters piety; rest that surrounds us causes the godly life to awaken.

– Abraham Kuyper, Pro Rege: Living Under Christ’s Kingship (Lexham Press, 2016) Volume 1, pp. 48-49.


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