Thankfully, our culture has a renewed focus on the importance of rest. Many struggle with guilt over taking time off when often this is the best next step in life. God designed our bodies with limitations and the need for rest.
In biblical times, rest was required for each of the feast celebrations. Mary was recognized for sitting at the feet of Jesus, while Martha experienced a gentle rebuke for being “worried and bothered about so many things” (Luke 10:41). God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3), and Jesus would often “slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16).
Rest is pivotal in our lives, especially when we are restless and think slowing down is impossible.
Relax – God is sovereign and in control of our lives.
“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17, NASB).
Expect – God will work while you do not.
Upon God alone, O my soul, rest peacefully; for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5, DBI).
Sit still – God is able to do more than we ever could.
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7, NIV).
Trust – God delights when we rely on Him.
“For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
Rest is more than taking a nap, although that is often wise and just what you might need. Rest is surrendering and putting your trust in God, knowing that He is working on your behalf. True rest brings peace, a peace we must often command of our soul, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you” (Psalm 116:7, NIV).