Rest is Best
As some of us have just had a restful bank holiday weekend and now some of you will be on half term holiday, it’s got me thinking about rest. A very important topic, which can so often be looked down on or perhaps overlooked altogether.
As a world, we are busier than we’ve ever been. Words like ‘hustle’ and ‘grind’ are thrown around daily. Not having any sleep because of our hard work on our most recent endeavour is celebrated. It’s no surprise then that in 2014/15, in the UK alone, 43% of all work days were lost as a result of ill health were due to stress.
For most of us, we have good reasons to keep on keeping on, don’t we?
“Those bills won’t pay themselves!”
“This project is important- I have no time for rest!”
Have you ever considered that your rest is an essential part of your work?
God Himself, in creation, rested for one day after working for six. God in flesh- Jesus Christ would often withdraw to desolate places in order to spend time with the Father. (See Luke 5:16, for example.)
Yes, the plans and purposes God has for our lives are many. We are created with work as an integral part of our very being. However, everyone gets tired and that shouldn’t have to be something people feel guilty about nor should admitting tiredness be like confessing a flaw!
Don’t you find that in your own lives, rest feels that bit more satisfying when you’re resting after a period of working extremely hard? I’m sure that’s intentional. That regular rhythm of rest, work, rest, work- is key. Not only so that we can properly enjoy a good holiday after we’ve worked ourselves to the bone. There is, of course, much more to rest than that.
There is a sense of preparation to be found in our rest too. It reminds me of rechargeable batteries. They do their jobs and carry out their purpose, emptying themselves of their energy along the way and then they’re plugged back into their energy source in order to get a top up of that energy so they can go back out and do what they’re made to do.
As Christians, we have an unlimited source of energy…
“Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4)
God is watching over us and He loves it when we connect with Him, even more than we do. God does not grow weary; He does not sleep while we do. It’s important that, at times, even in those really important moments, we remember that it is God who keeps us, God who holds us and God who will equip us for what’s next as we tune in to hear His voice.
Yes, work is important and yes, it’s amazing when our passion meets our work and we get paid to do something we actually love, but that doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly invincible. We can only work well when we’re spending regular time plugging in to our Father, the one who does not sleep nor slumber. The very One who ordained rest as He formed the world we inhabit.