When was the last time you sat still for an uninterrupted, distraction-free, extended time of rest? My guess is that it’s been a while. The term “rest” seems to be a figment of our imagination when days are packed full of work, kids’ activities, social obligations, chores, deciding what to cook for dinner, and so on…
This idea of rest has been heavy on my heart and mind lately (partially due to the fact that I have a 3-month old and sleep is a hot commodity for me these days), but also because of the hustle and bustle we are constantly caught up in. We wake up late and are in a rush, we’re stuck in traffic but in a rush, we’re eating meals but in a rush, we’re talking with a friend but in a rush. Does it ever stop? Does this non-ending cycle of exhaustion ever end?
It can and should. Can I beckon you to pause and rest?
Not just because God commands it (Psalm 46:10), but because we were created for it. In Genesis, when God created man, it states that we were created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). After God spent six days beautifully and perfectly speaking the world and human kind into existence, he then rested.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” –Genesis 2:2-3
Did you catch that? God “rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Friend, if the holy, perfect, sovereign God of our universe rested – and we are created in His image – what makes us think that we don’t need rest? Why do we let this important spiritual discipline fall by the wayside?
I remember a friend once said to me, “Isn’t God so good that he created us to need rest?” At the time, I was simply being agreeable and emphatically agreed with her without really thinking through her question. I think back on that conversation often now to really consider it.
It’s good for us to stop and rest. Scripture even addresses why rest is good for us:
“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.” –Exodus 23:12
We need to be refreshed. It’s important for our souls, our health, our mental well-being. We need rest.
Let me encourage you to do this: schedule time to rest. I know that may sound completely odd, but truly, in this rampant culture of busyness, you won’t do it unless you force yourself to do it and make time for it.
The next question becomes, “what do I do to rest?” Here are a few ideas:
Read a book
Take a walk
Get out in nature
Simply be still and listen
It can take a variety of forms. No matter what you do, what’s important is that you do it. Be still. Rest.
Remember friend, God is so good that he created us to need rest!
Respond: How will you make plans to rest and what does resting look like to you?