We live in a world where rest is hard to come by. Pushing past fatigue is glorified in our fast paced society. Unfortunately, we pay a big price when we neglect what our bodies need. Taking time to recharge is a must for our overall health. We can quickly see how our lives can unravel when we choose to ignore our need for rest.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way. For years I forced my body past exhaustion despite the alarms going off inside of me. The end result, was I lost my health. My body finally collapsed under the strain of living this way.
God’s word gives us many examples about the importance of rest. Hebrews 4:10 reminds us that we are to rest in God and follow his example; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
You may argue that you don’t have time to rest. I am here to tell you that if you don’t voluntarily enter this rest, the day will come when you will be forced into it. One day you will realize that your body will not respond, no matter how much you push yourself. Take it from someone who learned this firsthand.
If God himself rested after creation on the seventh day, what makes us think we are somehow exempt? We know that God did not rest because he was tired, he rested because he was finished. Yet by doing so he left us a pattern to follow.
When Christ walked on earth we see him taking time to recharge and rest. Countless times we he would leave the crowd to spend time alone with God. The crowds were still present, yet he taught us the importance of walking away. There will always be more to do than can ever be accomplished in one day.
Learning to prioritize and even saying no is vital. We can’t do everything nor can we be at every event. Mark 6:31 shows us how he exhorted his disciples to do the same. Look what he tells them; Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
The question is now how do we enter that place of rest? Well, true rest is not just physically stopping what you’re doing but putting your full trust in God. When we are truly resting we are operating in genuine faith and no longer depending on our own striving to make things happen. Instead we lean on God to manifest his strength to get us through whatever we may be confronting.
Matthew 11: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.
When we decide to turn over to God all our fears and concerns, he is able to give us complete peace. We are then fully secure in His love knowing he has our best interest and we are able to let him work out our life issues. I have learned that when I rest, God then works and when I “labor” He rests. I never want to see God stop working on my behalf.
It’s as if God is asking do you trust me or do you want to continue to do things in your own strength? I have countless examples in my own life that when I truly surrendered, He showed up and rescued me and when I didn’t, I was simply tormented by all the unfinished tasks and lack of peace.
So choose rest! I want to live by Hebrews 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. I want others to learn from my life and not commit the same mistakes I did. To see the value in living in the rest that God provides.