A photographer was snapping pictures of first-graders at an elementary school, making small talk to put them at ease. “What are you going to be when you grow up?” he asked one little girl. “Tired,” she said. Evidently, she had been watching all the adults in her life, working long hours, busy with a million things, and running around from place to place, and concluded that she was going to be just like them: “tired.”
That’s a hard way to live, isn’t it – Having nothing to look forward to except being tired? Well, I’ve got good news for you! The Bible presents a much better way to live for the believer in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 4:9-11 says there is a special rest (Sabbath) still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So, let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
The “rest” the writer is speaking of is a “rest” after this life with God. But we get a glimpse of that rest in the here and now by following God’s command to take time to rest weekly in Him. A Sabbath rest is a requirement of a healthy lifestyle. If we want to reap the benefits of rest and have a much healthier life and lifestyle, we have to actually slow down and take the time that is needed to rest.
God established the Sabbath because He knows of our need for rest and worship. He created the Sabbath to be a delight. Therefore, the Sabbath is His word of grace for those who are driven and harassed by stress and anxiety.
The problem, however, is that what God intended to be a blessing, humanity has corrupted. What God has designed to liberate, humanity has limited. When the Pharisees tried to limit what could and could not be done on the Sabbath, Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath was for the health and healing of our body, soul and spirit, but not to make us subject to the day. A day of worship is to be a day of rest.
This principle relates to all of your living. This is vacation season. And I’ve noticed that when people get back from vacation, they need another vacation. It is healthy to get away with your family, but make sure that it is a rest and not an obligation to complete.
Much of our life is spent at work. Work is necessary and a part of life. But God even helps us in our daily tasks and our work in our life. The rest of God is not a rest from work — it’s a rest in work. It’s partnering with God to do what He is calling you to do by His grace, and leaving the part you can’t do in His hands, trusting Him to do it. It’s important to know that as believers in Christ, we are partners with God—we have a part, and He has a part in everything He calls us to do. When we don’t do the part we can do and we try to do His part instead, that’s when we live stressed-out with worry, fear, anxiety, frustration, no peace, no joy, and no rest.
Let me encourage you to find rest in God this week, this summer, this year by slowing down and setting time aside for worship and rest.