Busyness has been glamorized by our culture. Being on-the-go, 24/7 is sought after as though it is the way we are meant to function. Some of us aim for it, others fall into it. Either way, it’s not healthy.
People tend to go to extremes. Either we work way too much (“workaholics”) or we don’t work at all. I’m not saying that we all need to laze about all day doing nothing. By all means, let’s get our work done- but then let’s rest! We all need to give ourselves a little grace.
It’s rare to hear sermons about rest, but the Bible is full of commands and encouragement to rest. I love how God built rest into our lives. As with so many commandments, when God commands us to rest it’s not a constraint to keep us from something good, it’s a GIFT! Rest is a blessing.
Many people feel that they are “not earning their keep” or they are “worthless” when they take time to rest, but God Himself set the example of rest for us! During creation, He worked six days and then He rested on the seventh day. I’m sure you’ve noticed that God doesn’t NEED rest. He did this to illustrate how important it is for us, because we do need it.
Not only did God illustrate rest, He actually commanded it. He knows our nature. He knows that most of us just won’t take the time we need to rejuvenate our bodies, minds and spirits. He knows we need this, so He commanded it. He told us to do what is best for us because He knows what is best. That’s the point of resting on the Sabbath. We need that time to rejuvenate.
Rest is Good
The Bible is full of verses and passages that talk about rest as a wonderful thing. Slowing down, being still, resting… these are good images, not bad ones.
“It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, He can provide for those whom He loves even when they sleep.” Psalms 127:2
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
“He (Jesus) said to them, “Come with me privately to an isolated place and rest a while.”” Mark 6:31
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Do you tend to see rest as a bad thing? A personal failing? Why not accept it as a gift from God? 🙂