Rest, it’s one of those four letter words that evokes a lot of varying emotions from people. There’s the exasperated sigh, the faraway gaze of someone in need of rest and also the “what are you, a wimp?” remark from someone that thinks you should just suck it up. But what if I told you that we are actually wired for rest. What would you say then?
Oh, I know, there are too many things to do, places to go and people to see to find time to rest. I get that. I’ve even heard it said from others that they’ll have time to rest when they die, but sweet friend, that is not how God created us.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3 ESV (underline mine)
When God created our universe He did so in a way that lays out a rhythm for our life. God is God and He doesn’t need to rest, but He is modeling it to us so that we can learn to build it into our lives. He knows that this is going to be something that we struggle with throughout our lives, so He takes time right in the beginning of the Bible to show us just how important this is for our health.
Let’s face it, our world rewards busyness. We talk about how “busy” we are, how much we have going on, how stressed out we are and we wear it like a badge of honor. For some reason we’ve bought into this lie and until we decide to change our view on rest we will end up stressed out, exhausted and weary from running all the time.
What are we supposed to do to change it then?
That’s where we start planning in times of rest — or in other words, a Sabbath.
In the verses above you can see a pattern, six days of work and one day of rest (or Sabbath). Sabbath is a form of mending, it’s mending for your soul. It’s a time where you feast, rest, worship and play. It’s not recreation or a hobby, that’s fun–but not restful. It’s a time of intentional focus on God, His creation and His glory.
Let’s get real practical here, you’re busy and this isn’t one more thing you need to do, I get that. But, here’s what I will tell you, the neglect of a Sabbath leaves our soul hard, dry and spent. If you can relate to any part of that, then chances are you need a Sabbath day.
Are you curious as to how you create a Sabbath day in your life?
Here are three things to help you get ready for a Sabbath:
- Plan for your Sabbath – guard that time so it’s a time for you to rest (in whatever ways that works for you).
- Prepare your mind – in prayer and through stillness (see also Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23-24)
- Trust God – to take care of things while you unplug a bit.
It won’t be easy to get started, but I am confident that once you do, you will start to see some really incredible things happen in your life…even if it is just being able to exhale a bit. I can’t wait to hear what happens when you start to take a Sabbath too.
Father God, as we seek to be more like you would you show us how we can learn to rest. It sounds simple enough Lord, but we are always on the go with lots of things to do and what we really need is to just sit and be with You. Show us how to do that starting today, in Jesus name, amen.
Special Note — This topic, Wired For Rest, was actually from my husband’s sermon with the same title. I have his full permission to share it with you and if you’d like to learn more about it, you can listen to the sermon here. Click on the teaching from 2/15/15 – Humanity Hardwired: Wired For Rest by Matt Mashburn.