Sitting on the bluff gazing out across the lake with the wind blowing gently in the trees, my soul soaked up the peaceful and restful day. Listening to the children on the beach and the birds occasionally chirping brought a calmness to my spirit. But then my thoughts took a different turn.
Are the few vacation days and breaks we have each year the only time we can rest? Do we have to rush around and work ourselves to death just to cram rest into the seven days of vacation time allotted most Americans? Even then, those days of vacation are often spent between trying to find the brake pedal and then gearing up to head back to work. This crazy cycle we find ourselves in is not what or how God intended it to be for us.
“So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’ God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.” Genesis 1:27-28, 31
“By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3
The creation story is familiar to many, and until recently I missed an essential point regarding rest. God created man and gave him the command to subdue the earth. However, the very next day was not a work day for man. The next day, the seventh day was a day of REST. So instead of sending man right out into the workforce, God invited man to rest with Him!!
We’ve been getting it all backward. We work and work thinking we will take a break when everything else gets done. But as long as the sun is up, there is work to be done. Even when the sun is down, we feel the need to burn the midnight oil. The work is never completed, and so we never rest. So what do we do?
First, acknowledge to God that you have been getting it all backward. Then ask Him to help you find time during your regular day or week to rest. Whether it be a walk, a short nap, reading, or listening to praise and worship music, find a way to stop and rest with our Lord and Savior. God is faithful to give you the extra strength and time to accomplish the other things that need doing after you have spent time resting.
Don’t become that dull person who works and never takes time to play and rest. God designed us for rest, and we don’t have to work before we relax.
What will you do this weekend to enjoy the rest God wants to have with you?