Are there times in your life where you just don’t want to stop? I love to work. I love to play. I love to worship. I don't want to miss anything. If my body and mind would allow it, I would go twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I hate to rest!
When I was in my twenties I had constant bouts with insomnia, which I never saw as a problem. I would go two, three, and sometimes four days with little to no sleep, and then I would crash for about twelve hours, waking ready to go for more. But then came the Sunday morning I could not get out of bed to catch my early morning flight to Little Rock. I spent the next four days in a hospital bed, where I discovered a nugget of truth I had previously overlooked in John 4:6 (nkjv): "Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat.” If Jesus got tired, you and I are going to get tired. If rest was the answer for Him, how much more necessary it is for our mortal bodies.
What’s more, part of God's nature is revealed in rest. I do not believe that God took the seventh day to rest because He had worn Himself out and needed a break. No, I believe that God took time to rest because it is important to rest. God took time to rest in order to model for us how important rest is for our whole being. Rest gives our body time to recuperate, yes, but it also gives us much-needed space to reflect on our lives and on Him. We are best able to surrender fully to God and His purpose and plan for our lives when we are rested and not concerned with the to-do list on our agenda or the appointments on our calendar. When we rest, we are able to receive His strength.
You want and need His strength. You can’t do anything with your own strength, so don’t even try. You were created to need God—and to want Him! God would rather have fifty years of service from a faithful, refreshed servant than one or two years from a burnt out, miserable servant trying to work out of his or her own strength. Resting assures that you will have the strength to make it through to the end of the race rather than burning out after the first lap. In order to receive strength from God to overcome the challenging situations in your life, you must follow in His footsteps.
You were created for work and worship. You were created for play and rest. You were created in the image of God, and God doesn’t do anything without purpose. Resting has a purpose!