The Command to Rest


If there’s one adjective we all use to describe our lives, it’s probably busy. Some days, I look at my list and wonder: How did all that get there? One item you won’t see on the to-do list is this: Rest. But I think we would all do well to add it.

I’m not talking about lazy, couch-potato rest, although if we burn out our bodies to the point of illness, that sometimes becomes necessary.

Instead, I’m talking about a quiet rest, a renewing rest, a distraction-free rest. What that looks like differs for each one of us, but here are some suggestions:

  • A quiet weekend morning with our Bible, journal, and coffee (always coffee!)
  • Leaving the laptop off on weekends
  • Taking a break from social media
  • Getting outside to enjoy nature and the good things God created for us to enjoy
  • Making time to catch up with friends and family

As Solomon reminds us, there is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). However, the Bible reveals that our “seasons” should include rest. After all, God Himself modeled the importance of rest for us in Creation. Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done” (ESV).

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Was God tired? Of course not. But He knew His creation often would be. In case we miss His own example, He included reminders for us in Scripture. Here are some personal favorites:

  • Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7 NKJV).
  • Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you (Psalm 116:7 NKJV).
  • Come to Me, all youwho labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NKJV).
  • And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and resta while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat (Mark 6:31).

Jesus Himself often withdrew into quiet, solitary places to spend time in prayer with His Father (Mark 1:35, 6:46). If Jesus took time to get away from the crowds and demands placed upon Him so He could recharge and pray, how much more should we?

I’m preaching to myself here, just as much as you. My friends can tell you my calendar is packed. I have writing deadlines, work commitments, and other non-negotiables. If we were to sit down and chat, you could likely fill me in on your own full plate.

Instead of comparing our crazy calendars, let’s block out intentional time to rest. When we do, we can then come back to life’s demands with renewed strength.

Written by Kristen Hogrefe

My goal is to think truthfully and live daringly in everyday life. I pray that God’s light will shine through my books, blog, and personal walk to point people to Jesus Christ and His awesome plan for them.

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