The perspective rest gives

The perspective rest gives

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Rest is hard for many of us. If you’re usually a very busy person, when you get a chance to wind down, it takes some time to properly relax. We find ourselves tense and with a feeling that we need to be doing something even when there is nothing we need to do. We find it hard to ignore our phones and our email. It is only after a week or so that we start to relax properly and read or watch TV or go for a walk without feeling a little guilty about it.

Having a break from our usual work is important for us; the Bible speaks of having a day off in seven as a helpful pattern. We are made to work, and we were made to rest from work. It is very unhelpful for us to work at a high level with no break.

When we do have a break from work, it changes our perspective on the world in an important way. It reminds us that we are not God. We are not personally responsible for the world continuing, and the world will not fall in a heap if we take a break. If you are a person with a responsible job, you need to understand this. God the Father is sustaining the world while you rest, and not a hair can fall from anyone’s head without the will of your Father in Heaven. God the Son is the head of the church even when pastors or elders have a break. God the Spirit continues to work to point people to Jesus even when we are not preaching or working at evangelism.

Isn’t that freeing? We say that we believe that God is in control of the world and that all we have comes from God. That’s true, but we often don’t live as if it is. It is good for us to have a break and realise that it never all depended on us. God is God, and we are not. And that is a good thing.

It also reminds us that we are limited in our energy and influence. Whoever you are, when you work for a long time at a high level, you wear down. You need to stop to eat and sleep. You need holidays from time to time to recharge. You need days off. If you never have the break you need, your health, physical and mental, will begin to suffer. God made us to need breaks. We need to make sure we don’t think too highly of ourselves. And when we understand our limitations and weaknesses, that should drive us to our knees in prayer. We cannot do it all. We should not do it all. And, by God’s grace, we do not need to do it all.

While we rest, God is still working (John 5:17). What a comforting thought!