Written By: Dagmar Morgan
Genesis 2-3 says by the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day, He rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because, on it, He rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (NIV)
God made the entire world and then, He took a break. You could argue that making the entire universe was a big job and so after He said “I’m punching out for a bit. I’m tired.” But remember our God is everlasting He doesn’t tire. So, it is worth thinking about the meaning of the word rest, as it is used in the Bible and how we use rest in our lives. It means much more than just stopping work.
When God rested, He was setting an example for us. He may not need the time out but we do. We are made in His image so He was showing us to take time to “be”. Our fast paced lives, unfortunately, do not give us rest. Home, chores, the office, kids being off school, play dates, Uber driver duty, the gym, your husband, university courses, summer jobs…the list goes on. It makes me sweaty just typing it.
But when all of that is done we somehow manage to still not be off duty. We are still tethered to the world and to performance through our devices. Whether it’s taking in other’s postings or orchestrating our own the searching, the planning, and the working do not end. There is no room for physical or spiritual rest in this modern landscape.
If we are always taking in information when is there time to reflect on what we have seen or learned or been through? God didn’t just stop work, the rest in Genesis also suggests He took time to delight in what He created. He looked at things every step of the way and said in Genesis 1:4 God saw that the light was good. He stopped, rested, reflected on what He had done and then continued His work on creation. Again, modelling for us the importance of this idea that as we create our life with God’s guidance we need time to reflect and connect with Him before we continue to build more. It is in the disconnect with the world that we connect with Him.
When we don’t take time to reflect or notice what we have created, we can get run down. Celebrating the small triumphs in life is important and taking time to look at what we have accomplished rather than rapidly moving onto the next goal is key. Look at the family you’ve made. Look how you’ve seen your kids through another school year. Look at the degree you finished. Look at every small goal you’ve accomplished. Maybe it wasn’t perfect but you made it. Even with all the ups and downs, all the imperfections. There is still something to celebrate.
The way He celebrated making us by deeming the seventh day holy.
We are called to do the same. To dial things back, give thanks for what we have even if we are not quite where we want to be. We can still rejoice in Him.
Turn down the volume of the world and turn up God. Take a day off, read the Bible, go for a walk, stand in the grass in your bare feet, write a list of all things you’ve done this year and take a moment to realize you made it. By stopping and unplugging for a moment you let God know you are following in His footprints, the same ones that created the world and then stopped to marvel at its beauty. Let’s do the same.
This August as the last breaths of summer swirl around us, I challenge you to really find time to REST.
Rest in Love.
Rest in Quiet.
Rest in Beauty.
Rest in HIM.