Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
It has just hit me between the eyes, once again, that God is serious about rest. Who do we think we are if we think we do not have to honor and respect His directive to rest? If GOD needed to rest (and He’s God), who do we think we are? And not only did He rest, He BLESSED the day and made it holy! He blessed the day that He did no work and that was the day He made holy- not the work days, the rest day. I think He’s serious, folks.
So what is rest? Sitting on our rumps and doing nada? Well, I guess that could be part of it. But folks, seriously, having a chronic disease like I struggle with that keeps me physically inactive a great deal of the time, I can tell you that just because your legs aren’t moving does not mean, in the LEAST, that you are resting. Guilty as charged. Right here. Right now.
Resting is different than I think we understand it to be. It’s getting still- not just our bodies but our minds, our mental and emotional worlds. I’m not talking about my time with the Lord that I do on a regular basis. I’m not talking about sitting at His feet in some serious prayer. I’m not talking about just meditating on His word. I’m talking about even resting from that- but in His presence. Resting means letting it all go. Just letting it go- what about your job, what about relational issues, what about financial stress, what about the dear friend that needs you, what about what about what about. Disconnect. Power down. Be still. Restore. Let-it-go.
God did it for an entire day. When’s the last time we purposefully cleared our calendars and our brains from everything and powered down? When’s the last time we turned off our phones, televisions, computers, etc? Right. I thought so.
Rest can indeed look differently than being in a coma. It can mean taking a walk, people observing, gentle conversation, listening to music. It can be taking a bubble bath or a long shower. It can be just sitting. It’s really not primarily about what your body is doing. It’s primarily about what your spirit is doing and if it’s being cluttered by your mind and/or emotions. It’s about disconnecting from others and connecting primarily to the source of your “fuel”, your strength.
It is in the stillness and quietness that two wonderful things happen. 1) Our brains clear and restore and we are positioned, as our quiet focus is just on the face of the Lord, to actually allow Him to refill us with His spirit. Try keeping your car moving at a gas station as you try to refill the tank! Ain’t gonna happen! The car must be still and off to be safe. 2) We leave some empty space in us, instead of being packed full, for the Lord to speak to us if He so chooses.
Be still. Let go of every thought, every stress, every everything and allow your mind, your spirit, your inner man to rest. God commands it.
Takeaway: Rest isn’t something we do when we happen to get a chance. In God’s eyes, it’s a priority, a non-option. We are to purposefully and actively plan our rest, making it a priority, protecting it, and using it for our own restoration. There is so, so much sickness in our world these days and I am convinced much of it comes from disobeying God’s instruction to rest. And rest means- power down the mind, soul, emotions and body. Power. Down. Selah.
Prayer: Lord, please convict me and teach me what rest is, what You command that I do, and lead me gently into creating time for myself, my family, to power down- intentionally. And help me to restore in this time by keeping my spirit turned toward you.