“Sometimes the most spiritual thing a person can do is sleep.” – C. H. Spurgeon
Every now and then I get really busy, and I mean so busy to the point where if you asked me what superpower I want if I could have any (which, by the way, is a question I hope you have considered before now) my answer would actually be the power to stay awake forever. Gone are the days of wishing I could fly, because even if I could there would still be several hours of the day when I couldn’t fly because I would have to sleep. We all know what it’s like to be busy and stressed out. I’m sure you have found yourself wishing there were more hours in the day, so I want to ask, how many hours in a day do you set aside to rest?
The habit of rest is not very popular in 2016. Busyness, hard work, and nonstop schedules are much more admirable than naps or quiet time for resting. In his book, When I Relax I Feel Guilty, Tim Hansel says, “More today than ever, we need to learn how to give ourselves permission to relax, to play, to enjoy life, and to enjoy God for who He is.” Do you ever feel guilty for taking a nap or for setting aside 30 minutes in your day when you just sit and be still? Today, I want to give you permission to rest and remind you that, not only is it something Jesus made a habit of, it is a commandment for Christians to follow.
Take a look at a few places in the Bible where we see rest as a Godly discipline…
-Genesis 2:2-3 God rested after working hard.
-Exodus 20:8-10 God commands rest.
-Mark 6:31 Jesus encourages his disciples to go find a quiet place and rest.
-John 4:6 Jesus rested after a long journey.
-Matthew 13:1-2 Jesus was sitting by the sea, apparently relaxing.
There is no doubt that rest is a good thing, and it is encouraged throughout scripture. This past week, my wife and I had our first child. I thought I knew what tired meant, but I had no idea. I believe that when we are tired, Satan is awake and strong around us, trying to distract and discourage. Now, more than ever before, I am going to have to work hard to make sure I am setting aside time to rest, and I hope you’ll join me in making a habit of it.
Jay Dennis, author of The Jesus Habits, offers these 8 tips for making rest a habit:
1. Go to bed earlier.
2. Listen to your body.
3. During times of extreme stress, learn how to push pause, stop, and rest.
4. When you go to bed at night, by an act of your will, in faith, turn over every concern to the Lord.
5. Take a nap.
6. Remove yourself geographically from your job periodically for rest.
7. Find a hobby, something you enjoy doing, something that brings you mental rest.
8. Practice the Sabbath—at least one day a week for rest.
Rev. Scott Johnson
Middle School Minister
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