The weekend is over and many of us will be faced with the Monday icebreaker question “what did you do over the weekend?” I often listen to several answers from people when this question is asked and i find it quite interesting to see the eagerness in people as they try to list all that they did. And i often wonder, as someone who works Monday to Friday, why does it sound out of place if you say “i did nothing” or “nothing much”. I have noticed how sometimes a sigh precedes this answer as though doing nothing is a failure in some way. It’s almost like we feel guilty for not doing something. I have heard people say they wasted the weekend just because they did nothing.
We are always in a work work mood. There is an expectation that you should be doing something. Busy people are carried with high esteem in our society. Those who carry more than one phone about, jumping from one meeting to another, juggling family, and everything else in-between.
Of course we shouldn’t be lazy as believers. The bible is filled with verses about hard-work and for us not to be lazy. To be honest i do find myself caught up in the work mood. So as i write this post, i’m also talking to myself.
Many people are exhausted. Many are burnt out. Many are working on empty. Many can no longer offer anything because they have poured out all they have. Many are now empty vessels making loud noises.
It is not a sin to rest. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost and one of the ways to look after our bodies is for us to rest. Apart from physical, emotional and psychological effects of lack of rest, there is also spiritual effects. Lack of rest can make us become spiritually lifeless.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.”
The above are words of a hard-worker. A king who fought a lot of battles. With so much family drama and personal struggles, he sure knew what working hard felt like. But as he reflected on his life, he admitted that there are times when God grabs him and puts him to rest.
Lying down is a state of rest. “He makes me…”. God knows that we are naturally stubborn and we will work ourselves out until we burn out totally, thereby destroying our bodies which are his temple. So like a caring Father that He is, He sometimes, cancels those meetings last minutes and shuts some doors and shakes things around in a way that doesn’t look pleasant to us just to give us a bit of more time to rest. But how often do we get the signal? When God shuts doors, sometimes, we break through those doors and swam ourselves with work just to make us look important.
God hasn’t called anyone to do everything. He knows no one can; that is why He distributes the gifts, ideas and purpose. The hand does not do the job of the mouth. We can’t chew with our hands and we can’t do crafts with our mouth. Each part is important and unique in it self and does it’s function to the best of its ability.
We get overwhelmed and stressed when we bite more than we can chew; moving into territories God never told us to. When we focus of tending our field, we will discover that God has given us just enough to do that. But imagine trying to feed 50 people with 1 loaf of bread. They won’t be satisfied. However when we focus on the 2 people God has led us to feed with that loaf, they will leave full.
God wants us to rest.
Many who are in the grave will still be alive today if they observed a sabbath for their bodies. After creation, in Genesis 1, The Almighty God, who never gets tired, rested. He did this not because He needed to do it for Himself because he doesn’t need rest, but because He wanted to show us how to look after ourselves.
I love the flow of Psalm 23. It begins by introducing God as our shepherd, and then shows us how He does everything for us from making us rest. We need to learn how to operate from a place of rest.
I feel this can be a challenge for us as believers especially when we feel the need to commit to everything that looks godly. A couple of years ago, God helped me master the act of saying no without feeling guilty.
Every no is a yes to something else and every yes is a no to something else.
We have to ensure that we are saying yes to the right things and no when necessary. There is so much work to be done. So may souls to be saved. The world needs us to live long so we can impact more. We need to ensure we are getting enough rest so that we can live to do all what God wants us to do for Him.
Don’t feel guilty for saying “i am resting”.