“Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.”(Psalm 116:7)
We humans aren’t as unstoppable as we think we are. Every night, we have to stop what we’re doing and close our eyes and rest, even if just a few hours. We aren’t capable of finishing our creations in a day, a week, or sometimes, even in a year.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.Then 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)
Unlike God, we must break off our work and sleep before the 7th day. Individually, eash of us have to acknowledge our limitations and rest, even if inadequately, before getting up again for our work. Our progress comes in halting steps, our work never quite finished, so unlike the God who created the world in six days and then rested. Sleep is a physical humility, an acknowledgment of God’s greater power and our trust that He works and watches even when we’re unconscious. It means believing that He gives to his beloved even in his sleep.
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” (Psalm 127:2).
So what happens when we get so busy that we don’t rest?
I’m talking about physical rest as well as mental rest. There are lots of health articles about the importance of reducing stress, and plenty of advice focusing on not worrying. And of course the doctor is always telling us that we need a good eight hours of a sleep a night. But – and maybe it’s just me – sometimes it’s tempting to wear my lack of sleep, my busy schedule, and my looming responsibilities like a badge of honor.
We secretly glorify the people who do it all, no matter the costs. Sure, we all have busy seasons with a new baby or the project due at work. But often, I think my refusal to rest is a symptom of self-sufficiency hardening into pride. The longer I’m awake, the longer I can control my environment and my results. It means less trusting that God will give me what I need and more time scraping together what I need and desire. Often, it means getting so busy doing things for God that we neglect our primary relationship with him.
The command to “be at rest” isn’t just for our benefit. Rest is not a guilty pleasure we have to sneak. Instead, we need to think of rest as a grace-filled reminder that we are creatures of clay dependent on a much stronger God. Our energy levels wind down until we are forced to acknowledge that – surprise! – we can’t engineer our lives as much as we’d like to think. But that weakness allows God to make us a promise, in book of Matthew Jesus said the following.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
God can bless even our rest when we’re following him. And he wants us to rest as an acknowledgment of our human limitations. When we rest, we’re expressing our faith in God’s ability to bring to all things to completion.
“To be able to ‘be at rest’ or have peace, you must be trusting in Christ alone.”
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the work done on my behalf. Thank You that I do not have to work my way to Heaven, but instead can place my faith in the grace of Christ. Help me Lord to acknowledge in my own heart and mind that I can find true rest each night and not continue to carry such anxiety and stress. You did not create us to suffer. It is me that needs to realize that I make the choice each day to trust in You, or try to control my life I understand that in such crazy times, I need to completly lean of you for help and guidance. Help me to remain in Your rest and to share this Truth with the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Scriptural Seeds Ministries