We’re well into the New Year, and our schedule is picking up. It seems like each weekend is accounted for, and when Wes and I aren’t working, we’re running (and I don’t mean working out). There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done.
Interestingly enough, Wes has been making time in his evenings to read a book entitled, Living the Sabbath. While the book in and of itself isn’t about the importance of rest, it’s about the importance of delighting in the Sabbath and what that means for our lives each day of the week. (Likely another column to follow on that later).
Wes going through this book has been a reminder to me of the importance of rest. Especially with a whole new year ahead, where plans are being made and goals are being set, it’s crucial that we remember to take time to rest.
Rest has several benefits. Not only does rest recharge your body and your mind, rest can also help improve mood, memory, and health. Additionally, the Bible talks a lot about rest. While God’s Word talks about rest in several different contexts, these are some areas that I find practical in applying to my life today. We all experience trials, we all have personal problems, and we all work. When I need rest and encouragement, these are some of the Scriptures in which I find solace.
- Rest from life’s trials. One of my favourite portions of Scripture is Psalm 37. Psalm 37:7 (KJV) says, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” When we commit our way to the Lord, and find our strength in Him, He will direct our paths and provide rest for our souls. It’s amazing the peace that comes when we commit our paths to Him.
- Rest from personal problems. Especially in our world of instant gratification and constant connection, anxiety and depression affect so many people. What’s the solution? Find your rest in God. Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God’s peace = rest.
- Rest from work. While some career choices are more stressful than others, everybody needs a break from work once in a while. Rest from work is essential and part of living a balanced lifestyle. Even God rested! Genesis 2:2 (KJV) tells us, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Additionally, in Mark 6:31, Jesus encourages His disciples, “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
Throughout the year, some weeks will inevitably be busier than others. Remember the importance of rest. Not only is rest Biblical, it’s good for your health. Whether it’s turning off your phone, turning off the TV, or taking time to eat dinner around the table, remember to take some time this week to rest.