Be Alarmed ... But be Careful

This past weekend was very busy for the Boykin family.  Despite my birthday last Friday and Mother's Day on Sunday, the centerpiece of the weekend was Cobi's graduation from Covenant College on Saturday.  So much of our time was spent up on Lookout Mountain and in Chattanooga.  The hectic schedule actually began last Thursday when Anita's sister, Cindy, came through and picked her up.  The two of them then went on up to Lookout Mountain ahead of us boys who couldn't leave until Friday after school dismissed.  

So on Friday morning at 3:50 A.M. Anita's alarm goes off ... the one she sets when she has to get up for work.  Of course she wasn't working that day but had forgotten to turn the alarm off before leaving with Cindy.  So coming out of a sound sleep I'm fumbling around trying to turn the alarm off; nothing seemed to fix the problem until I reached over and pulled the plug ... problem solved!

Now fast forward to Sunday evening ... after this incredibly busy and exhausting (yet fun) weekend.  Anita goes to bed around 9:00 P.M. in preparation for work the next day.  I'm  falling asleep on the sofa watching NBA basketball.  I woke up after a couple of hours and noticed that lights were on back in our bathroom.  Is Anita or one of the boys sick?  Is there a problem?  I go back there to find Anita in bed and nobody else around.  Then Anita calls out "Burt?"  I respond, "you okay?"  She then proceeds to tell me the story of how she wrongly set her alarm, got up, got dressed, put make-up on, only to look at her phone and realize it was only 1:15 A.M.  I don't necessarily counsel someone to laugh at their spouse at that moment but I sort of couldn't help myself.  Thankfully, she was sort of laughing at herself, too.  We tried to sleep a few more hours but don't think she had much success.

There are a lot of alarms going off all around us these days.  The alarm of an imminent economic collapse ... of political disaster ... of moral decay ... of social reconstruction ... of inevitable conflict ... of the breakdown of families ... of environmental disaster ... etc.  Which alarm do we listen to?  Which one matters most?  Many folks have a number of alarms set and they go off all the time, never allowing that person any rest whatsoever.  A number of other folks set the wrong alarm and it, too, goes off at the wrong time and disrupts their rest.  So is there a "right" alarm for the Christian and a "right" time to set it for?   

I wish there were some simplistic formula to use in order to figure this out but I don't think there is ... or if there was just a verse in the Bible that gave us the answer.  And to make it more complicated, all the things mentioned (morality, family, politics, environment, etc.) should alarm us and cause concern.  So is there any rest for the Christian or should we just allow all these alarms to constantly go off and keep us awake?

Perhaps the alarm we need to pay attention to the most is the alarm that goes off when we're NOT RESTING as we should.  And I'm not so much talking about physical rest (though that truly does matter) ... spiritual rest is the key.  Am I honestly resting in the goodness, sufficiency, sovereignty, holiness, love, power, faithfulness, immutability, and grace of the Lord Jesus?  If you find your heart constantly anxious then you need to be alarmed and run to Christ to find rest for your soul.  This doesn't mean you're just choosing to ignore and not care about whatever it is that's troubling you ... rather I think it means you care so much about it that you're willing to put it in the hands of a Sovereign and loving God who can handle the situation better than you can anyway.  Let's be a people who are alarmed at our lack of faith and trust in our Creator / Redeemer and today actively rest in Jesus.  Here are the lyrics to a great hymn - "Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting" - sing it right now as a prayer of your heart!

Jesus! I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
  Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For, by Thy transforming power,
  Thou hast made me whole.

 Jesus! I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
    Of Thy loving heart.

Oh, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea:
Oh, how marvelous Thy goodness,
  Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
  And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
  Satisfies my heart,
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings,
  Thine is love indeed.

Ever lift Thy face upon me,
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
  Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
  Fill me with Thy grace.