There comes a time in our life when we run out of steam. We started the race full of energy. We had our fill of God, our conviction that we were on the right path. And then we hit obstacle, after obstacle, after obstacle.
The first one wasn’t so bad. We were expecting it.
The second one irritated us a little. After all, we passed the first one, why do we need another?
But that third, or fourth, or fifth, etc, obstacle takes our breath away. We slow down and sometimes stop completely altogether.
We finally realize we’re in (desperate) need of rest.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28 KJV
Why do we often wait until the last moment before we seek the Lord and find rest? I don’t know about You, but I pray for stamina. I pray for strength to press through. I rarely pray for rest.
Are we afraid of missing out? Do we believe that the Lord will call us home before we’ve completed His good works?
Yet, the Bible shows us otherwise.
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
– Exodus 20:11 KJV
God created a day, whose sole purpose is to provide rest. We weren’t meant to go full steam ahead without stopping and recharging. Sure, there are times where prayers for endurance and strength are necessary. But it should never negate or replace our special time to rest.
God rested, shouldn’t we?
Have you ever seen a person who hasn’t rested in awhile? Their movements are almost manic, as they jerk from one task to the next. They experience headaches, fatigue that turns them sluggish, and if they really ignore the warning signs, find themselves in the hospital suffering from exhaustion.
Our bodies warn us when rest is needed just as God’s Word warns us.
“Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”
– Exodus 31:15 KJV
In the Old Testament, working on the day of rest was punishable by death. As we live under the new covenant, and the Lord Jesus took our sins upon Himself, we don’t have the same punishment. And I can’t help but wonder if that has made us complacent to the warning signs are body has in place. Because, people have died from lack of rest. Not as a punishment from God, but from ignoring our body screaming that we are running out of steam and no longer able to go on.
Friends, we have to rest. We have to recharge and spend time in our Lord’s presence, so that we can go on and do His good works. It helps no one, especially ourselves, if we work without giving our whole heart. And a weary heart is often a bitter heart.
So what say you? What do you do, when you are in need of rest?