I don’t know about you, but if I’m honest ... it’s hard for me to rest. For one, I like doing things. I like taking care of things. It makes me feel good, like I’ve accomplished something. I think I also have held onto to some wrong thinking that has said “rest means laziness.” That not doing is the same as just wasting time. Really a lot of it is just my pride that seeks to wear my hard work like a badge of honor.
And work isn’t bad. After all, we were created to work. It is part of our mandate from the Lord and is one of the ways that He has created us to be like Him and display Him and His character in the world (Gen 1:26-2:25). So being a faithful and honorable hard worker is important … it just isn’t everything.
In the beginning of the book of Genesis, we find God busily working. For six days He is creating the world and all that is in it. And then the Bible tells us in Genesis 2:2-3:
Do you see it? God not only worked hard—He RESTED!
Maybe you’re like me and feel like your life is busy. Maybe it’s filled with things like family and friends and ministry and a career. And maybe like me, you have a hard time resting. So even when a moment comes along for you to stop and slow down, you feel restless and even a bit guilty thinking, “but there is so much to do! How could I possibly rest?”
Here’s how—because God did.
Our Father in Heaven is our example. We were created in His image and likeness to, as His children, be a reflection of Him. And as a perfect Father, our God not only tells us, but shows us how to fully live the life He gave us. And we were created not only to do work—but to be rested.
Rest is an important part of our life. We weren’t created for work alone, to simply run hard all day without stopping. No, we were made for rest. Rest nurtures our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Rest is for us and it is Godly!
In Psalm 46:10, God encourages us to “be still and know that I am God.” In other words, slow down and just spend some time with me. When was the last time you put aside all other activities and distractions to just intentionally spend time with God?
When was the last time that you opened up His Word and just let Him speak to you and remind you of His ways and promises? That you meditated on His words and what it means for your life?
When was the last time you just prayed and shared with the Lord all the things on your heart and then just listened for what He would say in response?
When was the last time you just worshipped Him on your own, pouring out your thanks and praise to Him ... letting His presence minister to your heart and mind and refresh your spirit?
When was the last time you just sat and thought about how good and faithful God has been to you? That you considered all of His blessings in your life?
God invites you to rest! Not only your spirit, but your body and soul too!
God made your body—so if you’re tired, take a nap! Find somewhere restful to relax, maybe a park or the beach or a pool.
God made your soul and emotions—so if you’ve been stressed, maybe just get out and enjoy God’s creation. Go for a walk, a run or a bike ride. Read a good book. Watch a movie. Listen to some music.
God made you for relationships—so enjoy the ones around you! Share a meal together and really talk. Play with your kids. Go out for dinner with a loved one or have some friends over to just have fun!
Whatever it is—go on and let go of the guilt and pride (that isn’t yours to hold anyway) and give yourself permission to REST—because the truth is—God already did!