"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience." Hebrews 4:9-12 NKJV
For the past three years I've had the privilege and the honor of working everyday and serving alongside some of the most passionate people in God's Kingdom with regard to the identity and freedom of His children.
Bob Hamp not only held the position of Executive Pastor over the department I served in, but he also has been the man I considered to be my pastor and more importantly he is a friend.
Bob recently made a journey called "Sabbatical" and without sharing too much of his story. He enjoyed a paid extended vacation where his sole purpose would be rest. Bob shared with us in a department meeting before he left that his journey of rest had a theme, "Go wherever I want, stop whenever I want and do whatever I want." Sounds like a tentative plan, right?
His goal to completely immerse himself in the labor of rest. He wanted disrupted sleep cycles and to lose track of days. His desire seemed to be to lose Himself in the pleasure of God.
At that meeting members of our department settled our hearts in and engaged God to pray for Bob and his wife as they entered into rest for the first time in his professional career. One by one people began to deliver words. And by the time we had made our way around the table many of us had seen him enjoying himself as a little boy. More than a few of us saw him playing in water and one of us saw him in the "Magic Kingdom" with mouse ears on.
I saw the picture very clearly that I painted for him above. A little boy just overflowing with water being doused and immersed with joy. I told Bob that day that I could remember when my son was small and used to go out to play that something remarkable seemed to happen. When he played hard and returned home he was not tired, but instead he was re-energized and refreshed ready to go again.
"The Labor of Rest" is a heart gift for a man who has so beautifully poured his life out for the benefit of others and now is receiving the pleasure of God as he returns from a season of rest. My prayer is that he will indeed live in that place until God calls him home.