Any mother will tell you that she feels guilty when she takes time for herself. Moments with friends is stolen time in between the rush of day to day activities. We feel guilty when we are asked what we did today and we make up reasons why we deserve that time to have a cup of coffee, a nap on the bed.
Our world disapproves of rest, it is all about “Go-go-go!” Oh, it loves leisure though, which indulges the senses and is an opportunity to do the things we enjoy. But ask any mother on holiday, leisure, does not mean rest. Rest is illusive. There is no time to rest.
We feel that we do not have permission to rest, whether from our loved ones, ourselves or our circumstances, rest is not allowed. Or we may feel that having a need to rest, is a sign of weakness, which shows that we are not coping with the pace of life. Or we think we don’t deserve rest, for…whatever reason.
In fact, He designed us to need rest, and therefore He planned rest for us. At creation, after God had created for seven days, He rested (Gen 2:2-3). Not because He needed rest, God does not get tired, He rested to set an example for us (who are created in His image) to follow. He designed rest as part of nature too, as both plants and animals go through a season of rest. Even machines, don’t suffer metal fatigue if they are switched off regularly. Looking around it is clear that:
Everything thrives after a season of rest.
God, who has a plan for our lives, creates seasons of rest for us in our lives. He also made a day on which we are encouraged to rest, as well as moments in the day, when we have the freedom to rest because He controls our days.
Isaiah 30:15 “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
If we choose not to rest we eventually become stale and stagnate.
We find it hard to come up with anything fresh and equally hard to keep going. We only have one body, and without rest, that body starts to show strain. Our lives lose their vitality and we give in to boredom and drudgery. We are resistant to change and equally not in the mood for an adventure. Without rest, our ability to persevere is undermined.
We cease to care about the things that were once important to us.
“All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 2:23
God gives us permission to rest because He has appointed a “time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc 3:1) When we observe the seasons for rest, we will find that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecc 3:11)
We can trust God to make our lives beautiful, even if we take time to rest, because He is sovereign and in control of all time. He gives us permission to rest.
Say to yourself: “I am allowed to rest because God said I can.”
Add to that poster for the house NO GUILT.
Father, thank you that I can rest. Thank you that I am designed for rest and that You have made it possible for me to rest. In fact, you invite me to come to you and find that rest. Help me not to feel guilty about resting, but allow myself to stop without guilt, because You are in control.