Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3
I read this scripture again a few weeks ago and realized something significant – God rested. Wow! The creator of our universe, who is without boundaries or limitations rested. Why on earth would God do that?
I think he rested to provide an example for us to follow in our lives. We have to rest or our body will shut down on its own. Sometimes we think there is no time for rest because there is so much to do. Or does that just happen to me?
I’ll admit, I have so much to do at times that I really feel rest is a waste of time. It doesn’t get me anywhere. It just lets me, well ……. wind down – recharge – refocus. Oh yeah … rest.
I need rest in my life for no other reason that to refocus at times. I get so wound up with the things in my life I think must be accomplished. I also am a bit of a perfectionist at times. I think some things I do have to be absolutely finished and completely right before I can stop or let it go. Now sometimes that is a good thing of course, but sometimes it just drives me to the end of my physical and mental usefulness.
Three kinds of rest we need
I don’t know about you, but my body needs 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep every day. It would be awesome if I could keep a consistent rhythm of getting that much sleep every day, but I usually don’t. And when I get behind on a good night sleep it seems to affect me in a lot of ways. I find it hard at times to just quit what I am doing and go to bed – I have so much more to do! But what I make up in productive activity … I lose in rest. My body will suffer as a result. So only when I get wise do I lay things down and get a good nights rest.
Here is the Biblical example we are given – to take a weekly rest. Some call it a Sabbath day, the Lord’s day or even the day of rest. For my family it is Sunday. That is the day we set aside to rest from work and worship our Savior. I will do everything I can to keep this day set aside and not work. I don’t like to do business on this day if I can help it. I also like to spend Sundays visiting with family. We usually eat lunch with family members on Sunday and it is so good to recharge those relationships during those times. I also like to get in a good Sunday afternoon nap. For me that nap gives my body that extra rest that I missed during the week. It also gives me peace knowing all is well with my family that I can check out for an hour or so to just rest.
One of the best ways we rest is with a good vacation.
Think about the best vacation you have ever had. Was it a fun vacation? Was it a restful vacation? Usually the two are not the same. During the season of our lives when we have young kids – rest is the furthest thing from a vacation. However, I have felt the releasing of tension from work and my hustle/bustle life. I may not have rested in the sense I would like, but my mind let go long enough to recalibrate the priorities in life. Like spending time with family.
So for six days God worked. I hope I showed you last week that work is actually a good thing. Then God rested. So let’s think about a couple of things. God cannot be a part of anything evil. So if God is in rest, then it must be a wonderful thing. Notice that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day. What God did was declare the seventh day good and set apart. Since work was also good, God gave a separate time and weight to resting.
For me God speaks to me and says that I need that same time of rest. I need a break from work to let my mind and body separate the activities. Both work and rest are good and they both are something we all need.
Note to reader: I finished this blog one night and thought I had it complete. I went to bed and after resting had some more insight to this topic. So I included it this morning before posting. The overnight rest gave me a more clear picture to describe rest. I hope this topic is as beneficial to you as it has been for me.