Last month, I shared with our 4word readers how keeping it simple in our walk with God can help us grow closer to Him. Closely related to simplicity is rest, not just something we need when we get tired and worn out but an actual Biblical command given by God.
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery… Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy… For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” Exodus 20:1, 8, 11
But rest doesn’t come easy for us, does it? As Christian women in the workplace, we wear many hats as we juggle responsibilities at work, at home, at church and in our communities. The idea of “self care,” even taking just a few minutes a day to ourselves, seems like a luxury we can rarely afford.
But God wouldn’t command us to rest if He didn’t mean it. God knew we would need to rest from our work, and He went as far as setting an example of resting from His own work by resting from creation. We are blessed to have a God who cares enough to foresee our tendency to overwork ourselves and create a way to rest and recover!
Ironically, we sometimes feel too worn out to rest. But we shouldn’t rest out of guilt; rest is an opportunity to obey God’s commands and trust Him. Here are three practical ways to make a commitment to rest:
- Get into God’s Word daily. I may sound like a broken record, but this is the number one key to giving yourself quality rest that restores and refreshes. Getting into God’s Word reminds me that He is in control, not me. He has given me gifts and called me to use them to serve, but I can’t do that without His strength.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Just as God commanded us to rest from our work, He created us with a need to sleep to restore our minds and hearts after a long day. While everyone has different sleep needs, getting at least 7 hours a night is non-negotiable for me. Without sleep, we become easily swayed by our emotions and our decision-making suffers. We all want to be good coworkers, wives, moms, bosses and friends, and that’s not possible without sleep. Turn off the TV, power down your phone, and make quality sleep a priority.
- Create regular rhythms of rest. Just like God commanded His people to rest from their work on the seventh day, our bodies, hearts and minds crave regular times of rest. We’ve covered the daily rhythms of time with God and good sleep, but I make it a priority to schedule weekly, monthly, and yearly times of rest, too. This looks like weekly dinners with family or close friends, a weekend each month away with my husband who travels frequently for work, and a yearly getaway where I truly step away from work and home responsibilities for a week or more. While these regular rhythms will look different depending on your season of life, figuring out how you can build regular rest into your schedule will keep you accountable.
When it feels like resting is just one more thing on a long to-do list, remember that God created rest to remind us of the inestimable privilege of being made in His image. It is God’s gracious invitation to enjoy intimacy with Him and delight in His creation.
Our physical rest paves the way for spiritual rest, a deep need we all have. Our faith in Christ allows us to shed our daily burdens and place them on His shoulders. Our strength is limited, but His strength is limitless.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30
Ask God to give you the confidence to truly rest, and see how it transforms your life from the inside out.
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