“For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on the wise, 'And God did rest the seventh day from all His works.' And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:” Hebrews 4:4-6 (KJV).
For my Facebook friends you know I recently embarked on my own version of Extreme Make Over – Backyard Edition. Three tons of pea gravel and a few hundred pounds of river slate later my yard's no longer a giant mud puddle when it rains. The work's been satisfying but physically challenging. After many hours of labor I'd drag myself inside, thoroughly drained. The most I could do was collapse in my chair in an exhausted stupor. Ask me a question and I'd just stare through eyes glazed over like two Kripsy Kreme donuts. My brain was mush and ill equipped to take on any serious thoughts. Muscles I didn't know I had, along with some old favorites reacted with boisterous complaints. I ached all over and needed down time.
Rest and faith are interconnected. Inadequate time-outs affect our ability to believe and stand in faith. Guilt and a performance mentality on the other hand, gnaw at our need to rest. This is easy to see in the natural realm. Over-tired and over-worked, productivity diminishes. When it's hard to concentrate mistakes are easily made. Fatigued, our emotions are more apt to over react. The problem...we're worn out. Take a day off, are you kidding? We're too busy!
Sick or injured bodies need time to recuperate. Failure to get proper rest slows and delays the healing process. Recovery takes longer than necessary (ask me how I know).
“The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 41:26
God never runs out of energy. After six days of creating He didn't say: “I'm bushed! I need to take a break!” He did however, take a day off. If the only Perpetual Energy Source took time to sit back and relax, should we ignore His instructions to follow suit? It was so important, He even made this a commandment – one of the Big Ten. Sorry sports fans, God coined that name first.
Just as our bodies need to rejuvenate, our spirits and souls need to refresh and replenish. It's easier to endure hardships when spirit, soul and body isn't worn to a frazzle. Unfortunately our culture and society provides endless activities and distractions. Nights and days are filled with must-do stuff. Sadly, many reach the end of life filled with regrets. Too many really important events were missed and relationships dwindled away. The tyranny of the urgent won out over what truly mattered.
For me to carve out a day of rest takes discipline. Recently this scripture caught my attention.
“Without faith it's impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6
If taking the proper time off for rest helps keep my faith strong, I'd be a fool not to do it. If you've felt guilty about your need to step off the treadmill, there's a scripture you can rest on. We're human be-ings not human do-ings. Jump off the hamster wheel, sit back and catch your breath. Enjoy the Lord and a good day off. Your faith will thank you for it.