I found myself this week feeling physically ill and exhausted…the result of going non-stop—mixed with stress, not getting enough sleep, not eating well and not getting any exercise—and…I received the most loving and gentle chastisement from the Lord about it. His message was distinct and came through on more than one occasion. Very simply put, He made it clear that I was to REST.
Sometimes, it’s very difficult to accept REST as a direction from the Lord and yet…the Bible is full of reminders that rest is vital to our being. From the beginning, God instituted the idea of rest: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2
It was so important to the Lord that His people, the animals, and the land rest that it became part of the Law He gave to Moses in the Old Testament: “For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord…It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” Exodus 31:15a,17 The Lord was not only rested, He was REFRESHED!
Jesus Himself recognized AND practiced resting: “…because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Mark 6:31,32 NOTE: A skeptic might argue that in the next verse Jesus postponed the time of rest to meet the needs of others, but I would argue that this was an exception…not the rule. In fact, take a look at the following:
“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” Mark 4:37-40
Jesus demonstrated that not only is rest important but that it is allowable—even in the midst of a storm! So much so that He admonished His disciples for getting worked up and not having enough faith. Jesus’ faith was so great that He could rest in the middle of a storm…is ours the same?
Today, remember this: REST is a REAL need and ESSENTIAL for our health. It will give us STRENGTH and provide us with clarity and TRUTH.
FBC Aztec Member