top of page
  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Rest Is Not Optional


“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” – Exodus 20:8-10 (ESV)

When will it stop?


I spoke those words out of frustration. What had been a week of unending, unexpected, and unplanned challenges, all it took was one phone call informing me of one more problem requiring a solution by next week!


There goes my weekend, I thought to myself.


I enjoy work and am thankful I can work. It’s difficult for me to think of myself as not working. But I also require rest. We all do. We need a break from the routine, challenges, and work demands. We have to find ways to release stress. Whether a paid employee, a volunteer, or an unpaid stay-at-home parent, we all work and are familiar with “stress.”


Some work physically until their bodies become weary. Others’ work is less physical. I sit at a desk for hours and need a reminder to stand, walk, and stretch. Mental fatigue can be as exhausting as physical tiredness. But regardless of our profession, industry, or job, we’re familiar with stress.


Stress is not only found in your job. Our world environment — locally and globally — is tense; inflation and financial challenges contribute to our anxiety, and medical issues can be tormenting. You get the picture. Stress is not just work-related; it’s life-related.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” – Exodus 20:8-10 (ESV)

Volumes have been written on Sabbath keeping. Is the Sabbath the last day of the week or the first? I’ll let the scholars debate that subject. However, the point isn’t which day we choose to rest. The real question is: What keeps us from “resting,” and what is rest?


Medical experts affirm: Rest is essential for better mental health, increased concentration and memory, a healthier immune system, reduced stress, improved mood, and even better metabolism. But what is rest? What’s restful to one person may not be relaxing for another. Someone stated: “Rest is any behavior aimed at increasing physical or mental well-being.” Whether taking a walk outside or sitting quietly to breathe deeply, the point is not making rest a formula but obeying God’s command to rest.


God’s commandment to remember and keep the Sabbath day holy is merciful and beneficial. You may recall that after creating the heavens and earth, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2).


If God chose to rest, shouldn’t we?

 

If you enjoyed this article, consider following me on Facebook for more weekly blog posts, encouraging videos, and updates on my travels. Also, leave a comment and let me know how I can be praying for you.


Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare


bottom of page