By the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing, so He rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day, because on that day he rested from all the work he had done in creating the world. | Genesis 2:2-3
In all of the hubbub surrounding the solar eclipse last month, I found myself overwhelmed again at the magnificence of God’s works! Every time I think about the intricacies of creation, it strikes me again how incomprehensible our God is.
Every time I read the creation account in Genesis, one thing that strikes me is the truth that God rested on the seventh day.
Think about that for a minute: the Creator of the universe made time to rest. Naturally, God didn’t need to do this. So why would He choose to rest?
Rest is important, even critical, to our health. God was modeling something for us by resting on the seventh day. He wanted to set an example for us all to follow.
We know that work is good and necessary. Not only did God work by creating the world in six days, but He established that Adam and Eve would work once He made them.
Throughout the Bible, we learn about the value of work – and what happens when we don’t work. Opting out of working is laziness.
We cannot expect to see the fruits of our labor if we do not toil according to the work the Lord gives us.
Yet many of us have made work a false god.
Work is esteemed in our society as the highest means of success, especially when the work is seen as prestigious. No longer do we view work as a means to an end, but it is almost always associated exclusively with the amount of money we earn. And the only way to make more money or advance along the corporate ladder is, of course, to work more.
So what about rest?
Sleep deprivation is something that many of us have become accustomed to. Somehow, we’ve deluded ourselves into believing that, in order to be productive, we must keep ourselves busy.
It is no use for you to get up early and stay up late, working for a living. The Lord gives sleep to those he loves. | Psalm 127:2
The Psalmist reminds us that not only is it unhealthy for us to neglect sleep and relaxation, it is also considered vanity! It can be that when we work so hard to earn money and acquire stuff, we tend to see these successes as our own, rather than as a gift from God.
Have you ever considered that
resting can be an act of trust?
When we rest, we nestle into the Lord. We can let our guard down, knowing that God will provide for the details of our lives. Relaxing or taking a break means that we don’t have to control everything.
Rest revitalizes the body and the soul.
We are recharged when we make time for silence and solitude, when we make time to listen to the Lord speaking to us. Resting is soothing to the soul, especially on days and weeks when we are so anxious and hurried that we can’t stop long enough to breathe or eat properly.
Rest heals us.
It helps us refocus on what’s most important – our faith in God, caring for our families, and focusing on the relationships that God has entrusted to us.
Money will always come and go,
but the fullness of the life God has given us
cannot be satisfied by money.
Rest is at the heart of our relationship with God.
Slow down for a day and spend the time with God. Watch what happens.
Your body will be recharged, and your soul will be revived. Work and ministry both have their places in our lives, but rest must never be sacrificed in order to make great strides in other areas of our lives.
Our hearts need periods of rest.
It is during such quiet times when we are most attentive and attuned to God’s stirrings in our hearts.
In quiet moments alone with God, we allow Him to fill our empty cups to overflowing once again. When we are filled, we are able to pour out and serve the Lord both in ministry and work.