I Rest in God

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

For many A Course in Miracles students, “I rest in God” (W-109) is one of the most comforting lessons in the Course. It is not a lesson of denial but rather a lesson of escape from the world of illusions and an assertion of our real power that we have sought to throw away but what God has kept inviolate for us. We can experience the power and peace of this lesson, as we say…

“We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.”

“I rest in God.”

Whatever you may be going through, this lesson can be a welcome reminder of the ability of God’s love to guide you through any chaos you may be experiencing. This concept seems antithetical to the ego. Resting is often seen as withdrawal or escape, but according to this lesson resting in God awakens within you the power to cut through the illusions of the world and bring you the “rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek.”

This lesson tells us that as we focus on the power of resting in God, our minds will be ignited with the awareness that will …

“… carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.”

The lesson gives us three ways this thought accomplishes its mission. So, let’s look at them.

1) “This thought has power … to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is.”
This is the miracle-mindedness that is the goal of A Course in Miracles’ thought system. We have a mighty power within us that can show us the miracle that stands “next to every dream of pain and suffering, of sin and guilt.” (T-28.II.12) But we must step back and withdraw our allegiance to the lie; we must “rest in God.” In doing so, we recognize the power of love in us that can show us everything as an extension of love or a call for love. Therefore, in every communication with another, we all want and need the same thing: Love. When we finally recognize our power in love, it will make no sense to hate or fear another because we are each other.

2) “This thought has power … to end suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while.”
Imagine the power of what this statement is saying. The terrible suffering in this world is based on our misplaced loyalty to separation and fear. As we unify our thinking and place our loyalty and focus on the power of God’s love, we not only end suffering for ourselves, but we become the bringers of salvation for all the world. Is that not worth a few moments of your attention to rest in God?

3) “This thought has power … [to awaken] the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.”
And it all comes down to this third awareness. We must be born again, but not in the traditional sense this thought has been used. As the Course says, “To be born again is to let the past go, and look without condemnation upon the present.” (T-13.VI.3) You are already God’s “beloved Son in whom He is well pleased” (T-4.I.8) that does not need to be reborn in us. But, to experience our truth as a Child of God, we must release our focus on guilt, which is always centered on our past and the past of others, and focus on the present that stands in the shining innocence of every moment. The awareness that comes when you rest in God, allows you to be reborn to your truth and power to transcend the limits of the world.

“This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed.” This is our goal now, to make today a day of peace by resting in God. We cannot be delayed or discouraged in this or the world of the ego wins. And so, we begin again … and again … and again. We do this practice not just for ourselves but for the world, as we read in this powerful lesson …

“Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.”

With resolve and confidence, we rest in God. As this becomes the focus of our prayer time and quick response to the conflict and chaos of the world, we become the teachers of God who are needed now more than ever before.

I rest in God. I rest in God. I rest in God.

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Above quotations from A Course in Miracles lesson 109 unless otherwise indicated.