Then, when they are away from their vocations, many people still aren’t resting. Large amounts of time are given to household chores, hobbies, entertainment, family support activities, etc. Many people today report that following a weekend of activity, they are more tired than they were before the weekend began.
It seems that most of us don’t really know how to rest. We oftentimes display a nervous or anxious energy when we have opportunities for rest – and many people are so afraid of being bored that they throw themselves into all kinds of meaningless activity. No wonder people are so grouchy, irritable and prone to great emotional upheavals and fits of anger. If we’re wound tight all of the time, we’re going to “explode” or “come apart” sooner or later. We have “smoke out days” and “crime prevention days” in our nation. Perhaps one of the best things we could do to alleviate crime and violence would be to have some “rest days” where no one did anything but truly rest and reflect on how the Lord has blessed them.
The biblical concept of “resting” implies that “resting” facilitates “refreshing” (Exodus 23:12). That means that “resting” not only enables our bodies, minds and souls to recuperate and regain strength and energy, but it also includes some activity, even if it is minimal, that brings refreshing and re-energizing to our minds, bodies and souls. This is one reason that I believe that the Lord has intended for corporate worship to be a part of our “rest day” itinerary. He knew that we not only needed to relax and recuperate from the rigors of our lives, but that we also needed to have imparted to us spiritual anointing, insight and energy that would “boost us” and enable us to become stronger as we resume our weekly schedule of activity and living. In the Ten Commandments, we find these instructions from the Lord: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. . . . For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then He rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy” (Exodus 20:8-11). That commandment reminds us our “rest day” is to be a “holy day” (not a holiday) when we prioritize gathering together with other believers to worship the Lord and acknowledge all that we are, have and want belongs to Him.
A visitor in a coal mining region noticed that outside one of the coal mines there was a pasture filled with mules. When he inquired as to why they were kept in a pasture rather than a stable, he received the following response. “These mules work in the mines all week long” his guide informed him, “where they work long, hard hours and everything around them is dark and dirty. One day a week they need to be brought out into the open where they can rest, recuperate, relax and be renewed, which brings hope and refreshing to their lives. If this doesn’t happen, they will break down prematurely and live a shortened, weary life.” Lot of humans are living weary, frustrated, and shortened lives because they are not taking the time to rest and be renewed spiritually. Don’t become one of those individuals.
As you pray, pray that: 1) The Lord will help you to learn how to truly “rest” from your labors and activities; 2) The Lord will help you to learn how to truly “rest in Him” (Matthew 11:28-30); and that 3) The Lord will renew and refresh you weekly as you make one day a week a “holy day” in your life.