"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And 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 2:2-3
God knew what He was doing. I could probably just leave it at that and be done for the day, but in recent months I've really learned first-hand that God knew what He was doing when He rested on that seventh day. He was giving us an example, by resting Himself, He was letting us know that rest is indeed an important part of life. Rest is important- if you don't get enough of it, your body gets run down and sickness can come upon you much more easily. We've kind of unconsciously adopted the idea of a day of rest, and I cannot believe how much of a difference it truly makes for us.
We happen to take Sundays as our day of rest- not on purpose, and not specifically because it is Sunday, but it sort of worked out that way on accident. With church services in the morning and evening, it very much limits the amount of activity we can get done during the day. So we started using Sundays as our lazy day. Watching sports happens sometimes, or spending part of the day catching up on e-mails or phone calls. I like to spend the time reading a book without feeling guilty for doing it. Often we find ourselves caught up in a family board or video game. It's just become a day where we don't tackle the big projects, and it makes such a remarkable difference in so many ways.
First of all, it truly makes us less crabby and irritable. When we don't get enough down time, our fuses get short. We relate to each other sooo much better if we get that one day where we all consciously make the effort to relax a bit. Secondly, it really makes a difference physically. I definitely noticed this last week. Since we moved on Friday and Saturday, that Sunday was not a day of rest. At all. We worked hard at unpacking and cleaning, and were so incredibly exhausted as a result. We didn't take our day of rest, and last week it almost was like pulling teeth to get the kids to settle in for school. We just didn't want to do it. But this Sunday, we rested, and yesterday morning we started school nice and early and got so much accomplished- it was wonderful. And it was a direct result of that day of rest we took.
But as I read this verse, and I thanked God for His example, and for our decision to take that day of rest, I really noticed the second part. See where God blessed the day of rest and made it holy? I like that. Corporately, as a church, we do celebrate our holy day on Sunday- we set it apart for God. But I happen to think that if your day of rest fell on a Wednesday, or a Friday or a Saturday, God would bless it equally. If you can purpose to set aside some time to rest, relax and get rejuvenated, God will bless you physically and spiritually for following His example.
Proper rest is just so important! It's so important to our bodies that God Himself rested. And maybe for some people, an entire day of rest just isn't possible- that's okay too, but eagerly take what rest you can. When the kids go spend some time at the park with Daddy- don't take that time to get some work done, take some time to rest. Relax, run a bubble bath and spend some time talking to God. God certainly understands that for some of us, work as a parent never stops, and sometimes that day of rest doesn't seem so restful at the time. But God sees our hearts, and He sees our precious children, and He will bless us all the same.
I challenge anyone reading this morning who doesn't specifically set aside time to relax to do so for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference. Now, I know everyone has different ideas of what resting is, and I'm not going to debate what activities or chores would be permissible for a true day of rest- that will change from person to person. But I challenge you to look at your calendar and simply set aside some time to rest- more time than simply laying your head on a pillow every night. If you find it difficult to just sit around and home not doing much, go to the movies or take in a Saturday afternoon baseball game- a double header where you will just sit and relax for hours at a time. Find the time to rest, and God will bless you for it. I know we've been immensely blessed, and I'm so glad that we make the decision to rest as often as we do. It makes our productive time that much more productive. And that's just really cool, and a wonderful gift from God.