To many of us rest is a four letter word. Take a break? Right! Perhaps because the very thought seems irreverent—or impossible—many of us tend to believe that the answer to our problems is to work harder, push further and achieve more. When was the last time you gave yourself permission to rest?
Jesus shows the reality of how to balance hard work and intense rest. In Mark 1:32-34, after Jesus had healed Peter’s mother-in-law and had driven out an evil spirit from a man in the synagogue, he was asked for more. “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many…” These “extra” events probably took him the better part of the night. No one could accuse Jesus of kicking back on the job.
But look at the other side of the story. The very next morning Jesus got up early and went away to pray, to be alone and away from the demands of ministry.
Perhaps Jesus took his cue from his heavenly Father. Thousands of years before Jesus took a break in Mark 1, God himself rested. After creating the world and all that inhabits it, “…God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:3)
So why do we think rest is “not for us?” Stop what you’re doing right now and come apart before you come apart. Grab a hold of the reality that when you invest in rest, you invest in making yourself a better woman, a better mom, a better daughter, a better wife, a better worker and a better friend. Sit down with a cup of tea and ignore the chaos around you. Hand over the little ones to your husbands and go for a walk. Turn off the computer (but wait till you finish reading this!) and go back and reread God’s own words about rest.
Don’t believe the lie that overwork works. Believe Jesus.