Averil Perlmutter - Serima Zimbabwe Convention - 2006

Hymn 317

We have just been singing about peace and rest.  All of us, the older ones, the young ones, everyone, we need rest don’t we, even the animals in the field.  They rest in the winter time, even our cattle and our workers, they must have rest.  We in the sheepfold of the Lord in our spirit, it is necessary to rest in Him and we have just sung about that.  There are several things that cause us to have rest.  When you are cold you can’t rest, you can’t sleep.  No, we are shivering the whole night.  If you are hungry, can you rest?  No, you can’t.  If our conscience is worrying us, can you sleep?  Perhaps, if your conscience does not worry you, then you can sleep.  Sometimes I have not slept at all because of my conscience.  It is troubling me inside. 

There are some things that give us rest and I would like to talk about these things.  Often a small child, he is grumbling and the mother does not know why.  It is just because the child needs rest.  She puts the child on her back and comforts him and so he can rest.  We big people, some we see are grumbling, not happy or content and finding fault among others, there is no rest within them.  Rest in the Lord.  It is needed, for you know a child.  It does not worry about a thing, he can sleep at any time and in any place.  We older people are troubled and worried about many things.  Perhaps troubles with money or our children or our relatives or our debts, or the work, the farm.  Many things and we do not rest because we do not trust in the Lord.  The child just trusts in his parents so he is able to rest.  We big people don't because we don’t trust in God, we don’t rest. 

Hebrews 4:4, "Seeing you have entered into his rest, beware lest any come short of it."  This rest is within our grasp.  Some did not enter in because the word spoken to them was not mixed with faith.  They did not enter in, but we enter into His rest by having faith and trust.  This chapter is all about rest.  If we trust, we will get rest for the strength of the Lord, that gives us rest.  A child tried to pick up a big pole that was in the garden.  He tried with all his strength, but he was not able to lift it.  His father just watched and kept quiet.  The boy came to his father and said, "Dad please help me."  Dad said, "Yes, I was waiting till you came to ask for help so that my strength could help you."  It is the strength of God that gives us help and gives us rest.  Have we ever had some trouble, some stories, hatred between friends, perhaps dissatisfied, not agreeing?  We need help, we need the help of the Father so that we can rest.  To obey gives us rest especially when we are in a crisis.  When you have terrible trouble that you did not expect, you can have rest. 

Daniel, he continued faithful in praying to God 3 times a day, even in good times and in evil times.  He continued praying.  Do we pray once a day, twice a day, three times a day?  I don’t think so.  We see your prayers not answered, so it seems that you don’t pray at all, not even once.  Daniel continued to serve his God every day, that causes us to have rest.  Daniel was thrown in the den of lions and there he rested the whole night, perhaps on the fur of the lion.  He had rest because he obeyed in the good days for obedience brings rest.  If we forsake our sin even when others do not even know what we are doing, only God knows, leave it and we would get rest.  It is difficult to say, "I have sinned."  Much easier to say, "It was not me." 

One time, Oti was working for a lady and she broke a vase.  She hid it, but she had no peace, no rest.  One day she faced up to the madam and said, "I have broken this vase."  She said, "Oh, it does not matter."  She had rest and she had peace.  It is like that with God.  We can feel these things.  If we humble ourselves and put ourselves in the yoke of God, we find rest.  You do not put a yoke on a dog or a horse, you put a harness on.  They also pull a plough, so God knows what we can carry.  Sometimes we have burdens that worry us, a death in the family, or our children, our relatives, father or mother.  We have heard of these troubles but the yoke of the Lord it is light and it is easy.  It is possible to carry it.  We read that it is better to live on the roof of the house than in the house with lots of troubles. 

One time, we were asked to go to a wedding.  It was to be held in the Catholic church.  We did not want to offend the parents of the home, so we went.  Mrs. Storey from Bulawayo also came.  When we came into the church, there were a lot of things that were not right.  Mrs. Storey just grabbed us and said, "We are not staying here."  She took us home.  In her little kitchen, we sat and talked about the things of God.  We had tea without sugar, bread without anything.  This was all she had in her house.  We were satisfied and we had peace.  It says it is better to eat with peace in a small, little house because this is better than to enjoy the feast in the world.  You young people are invited sometimes to some feasts.  Are you happy when you go there?  When we take the Lord's yoke then we have peace.  May it be so.