A couple of days ago I looked at why we work. But we need to balance our work with rest. So today I want to consider why we rest:
- To follow the creation pattern. Genesis 1-2 tells us that God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. He also created day (when we work) and night (when we rest). Built into the very fabric of creation is this pattern of work and rest.
- To recharge. God wasn’t tired when he rested on the seventh day. But we get tired. Work is toilsome, and we need time to recharge. Every day, we spend about eight hours sleeping because we need to recharge. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually we get tired. So we need to rest to recharge.
- To rejoice in our work. After creation, God looked at all he had made and he deemed it very good (Genesis 1:31). He found pleasure in it. We should follow his example and stop working long enough to find joy in what we have accomplished.
- To refocus our trust. If we are trusting in ourselves or our work, we will find it difficult to rest. There is always more to be done. But if we trust in God, we can stop and rest, remembering that he will take care of us. Psalm 127:2 tells us: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” We need not be anxious about our work. If we trust God, we can lay down at night and sleep. We can rest.
- To grow in relationships. If we love God and people, we will rest from our work so we can focus on God and people. We will rest so we can spend time with God in His Word, and prayer, and praise. We will rest so we can spend time with family and friends talking, and laughing, and sharing, and playing together. We need to rest to have time to build loving relationships.
There are lots of tired frazzled people in our world. But Christians should be different. God calls us to take time to rest.