“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, ESV)
The wind and the waves were tossing the boat around. Where was Jesus? He was sleeping (Mark 4:35-41). How could Jesus be sleeping at a moment like this? The boat was sinking. This was not the moment to sleep.
A lot of us feel like we can't get rest. There is never a good moment to take a nap. We are running all day long. We go to bed late and get up early. Even our days off are not truly days off. Work, work, and more work! There is always work to be done. How can you sleep at a moment like this?
God gives the Sabbath
But we need rest. When God created the universe, he rested on the seventh day. As part of the order of creation, he gave us the gift of the Sabbath Day. To remind us of this gift, he gave us third command "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy."
God created you, and he knows better about how you were designed to work than you do. It is good to listen of your designer. And he says that you need rest. Sometimes, the most spiritually beneficial thing we can do is take a nap.
Work from your rest
When Jesus lived, the work day began at sunset. This is different from the way we approach the day. We view the day beginning when the sun rises in the morning. That is the start of the day, and when the day starts, it is time to get to work.
But when the day begins at sunset, the first thing to do is rest. We go to sleep. As we rest, we put all the tasks from our to-do list into God's hands while we take the time to be renewed and refreshed. There is a trust he will give us everything we need in the next day to complete those tasks. Instead of resting from our work, we work from our rest.
A lack of rest is a lack of faith
Why can’t you get rest? Why do you have so much anxiety that prevents you from sleeping? There is a good chance that you are having a hard time giving the things in your life over to God. Instead of living by faith, you are trying to control everything and having a hard time of letting go of that control.
God gave us 24 hours in a day. He gave us seven days in the week. God knows what he is doing. He gave us exactly the right amount of to get done everything he has called us to do. If we don't have enough time to get everything done; there is a good chance we are doing more than we were created to do. It’s time to loosen your grip on some of the stuff you are holding on to so tight.
You are more important than your work
Finally, don't define yourself by your work. You are not valuable to God because of what you do, but because of who God made you to be. Your value is in who you are in Christ. You don’t have to prove anything to God. Jesus has already proved everything necessary.
You can rest content, knowing God will provide. The work that is so important will still be there tomorrow. And even if you are to complete the work today, it will just mean that there will be new tasks to be accomplished. There will always work, so get your rest.
- Take a nap.
- Do you have a hard time finding rest? Why?
- What can you do to prioritize rest in your life?