Rest. Four simple letters, but some of the most difficult to conquer. At the creation of the earth, we see rest. Genesis tells us that God rested from all his work. Rest is an underlying theme in scripture. There are hundreds of references to rest. So important was rest to God that he put it in the Ten Commandments. Six days we have to work, the seventh is for rest. God commanded the Israelites to give their land rest. He promises us rest for our souls. So what is our problem with rest?
Rest is a valuable weapon given to us by God, so it would only make sense that the enemy makes it so hard for us to follow through with it. I recently read this “Rest is a weapon given to us by God. The enemy hates it because he wants you stressed and occupied.” I think there is so much truth in that statement. When we can’t find the time to rest we get stressed. When we get stressed we tend to react and overreact in ways we maybe wouldn’t have given a good night’s sleep or a nice nap. I have heard it said that “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is just go take a nap.”
When we work ourselves ragged, even doing good things, we are no good to anyone. When we operate out of exhaustion we are operating the opposite way of what God designed for us. If the God who created heaven and earth spoke galaxies into existence and can part the seas took a day to rest from his work, why do we think we don’t need to?
We are so driven, so overstimulated, so pressured and pressed to be so much that resting seems like a waste of time. Can I tell you something? Not resting is disobedience. Period. It’s a commandment. It’s time to put away the phones, computers, television, and devices and take a good old fashioned nap. God designed our bodies to restore themselves in such an intricate way that it amazes me. I can’t even begin to understand it all. I do know, however, that in order for his perfect plan to work we have to choose obedience. We have to rest.
I don’t know where you fall in this category of rest, but I know sometimes it’s a hard learning curve for me and my family. It’s so easy to become doers of good things that we forget the best things. The best things are what God tells us in the Bible. After reading how much emphasis God puts on rest, I think I need to make it a priority in my life as well.
In Mark we see that Jesus himself calls his disciples to get away from it all and rest. They didn’t even have time to eat. There was constant coming and going. Sound familiar? Many times we just grab and go. Maybe Jesus is calling us to do the same. Maybe he’s gently whispering to you, let’s take a break and get a little rest. Father, I pray that you would help us to rest. Teach us to let go of things and take time to restore our bodies and souls. May you gently call us out of our coming and going to a place of rest. Amen.