Finding Time for Rest

What does rest look like to you? To each of us it looks like different things: perhaps a nap, time set aside to pray, family time, a quiet dinner out with a spouse, watching your favorite TV show, taking a drive, or even just a time out with friends. All of us have different ideas of rest and what they mean to us. For each of us though, the one thing that it doesn’t mean is work.

My favorite example of this is during the Creation when after all of God’s work was done, He rested on the seventh day (Gen. 1:31-2:3). Notice that God’s day during the Creation begins the same as ours ‘there was evening and there was morning’ and then scripture tells us what day God had just completed. Each of our days is the same … we get up and sleep with a full rotation of the sun around Earth and call it a ‘day.’ For some of us, we may literally ‘call it a day.’ Why? Because life is hard, it isn’t easy. Just as when God created the Earth and everything in it, it was hard work. God was tired, labored, exhausted. He needed rest.

But do you know what else may have needed rest? The earth. Think about it for a minute. The Earth was created from a void: from nothing came something. Just like hellfire and brimstone … this is how the Earth was created. The Earth was raw, ragged, exhausted, and trembling from the power of the Almighty and His handiwork. The Earth itself was trembling. Jesus even alludes to this when He says to the scribes as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and is asked to quiet the crowd that even if He could, “the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:39-40)!” The Earth bows to its maker, recognizes His power, and trembles in adoration, worship, & reverence at His powerful hand. So maybe it wasn’t just God that needed rest, but the Earth itself. When you think of it this way, perhaps this rest is the beginning of God’s giving of mercy to all of His Creation. It’s a prelude and foreshadowing of what God would do in sending His one and only Son to save humankind.

“…Perhaps this rest is the beginning of God’s giving of mercy to all of His Creation.”

When looked at in this light, we must take opportunities for rest. If we don’t, then the reality that we face is a future where we lose the ability to extend grace & mercy, to be patient, to grant compassion, and to be the people that Jesus has asked us to be. Jesus followed His Father’s example. Time and time again, we see Jesus work hard … draw away by Himself to pray … work hard, perform miracles … draw away by Himself to pray … work hard, teach lessons of great value … draw away by Himself to pray. This is no accident. He followed the example and the teaching of His Father. This is more than just a Ten Commandments ‘remember the Sabbath.’ This is a lifestyle that we must learn to adopt to become more like the hands and feet of Jesus every day. Despite what mass media, clever marketing, or any other wordly thing might tell you: there isn’t enough coffee, energy drinks, or protein supplements in the world that can replace God’s greatest example: rest.

Take some time this week to carve out time for yourself to rest, however that looks to you. Encourage your family and your friends to do the same.

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