Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. - Psalm 127:1-2 (NLT)
We are busy!
Yet, the Bible tells us it is useless for us to work so hard from early morning to late at night. As a matter of fact, the New King James Version reads “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late” It is vain because God promises us that He will take care of us, in places like Matthew 6:24 – 33. In fact, I encourage you to pull that passage up right now and read over it. Did you notice that in Matthew 6, God repeats six times over nine verses that we must not worry? So why do we refuse to rest? Why do we feel guilty when we take some time off? Don’t we trust God? A lack of rest has dire results on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Ask any student or any new parent. That is when you start to understand why sleep deprivation was used as a method to torture and interrogate people! - When you are tired you are irritable and more likely to lose your temper. - When you are tired you tend to overreact, and you become irrational. - Being tired leads to mistakes being made, which also has far reaching complications. - A tired person’s guard is down, and when your guard is down you can be led astray so much easier. We need to rest in order to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. And sometimes leading a balanced lifestyle means saying no to some things. We need to rest so that our physical bodies can recuperate.
A lack of sleep (and rest) can affect your immune system. Studies also show that a tired person takes longer to recover from illness. Our Creator knew and understood the limitations of our physical bodies, which is why He instructed us, right at the beginning of the Bible, to rest on the Sabbath. (Genesis 2:3) To rest doesn’t mean you binge-watch your favourite TV series for the whole day. That will just wear you out even more, because you will most probably end up feeling guilty for not being productive. Rest means taking a break from your normal routine, away from your cellphone and computer. Do something physical, play with your children, go outside, read a good book. However you choose to rest is up to you, as long as you take God with you and rest in His presence. Reflection 1. What can you let go of? Identify things that you have said yes to that you can actually let go of in order to create some time to rest. 2. Make a list of practical rules to follow, like putting your phone away for an hour after work. 3. Book time out in your diary and call it “Rest day.” Prayer Dear Lord, please forgive us for thinking that the world will come to a standstill if we take a moment to rest. Give us the wisdom to prioritise our tasks and our lives better so that we can have moments of rest in between.
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