Chapter 38: Come Rest Awhile

April 9, 2007

Beware the American type-A habit!

“Christ is full of tenderness and compassion for all in His service. He would show His disciples that God does not require sacrifice, but mercy. They had been putting their whole souls into labor for the people, and this was exhausting their physical and mental strength. It was their duty to rest.” DA376

How far past the balance have we swayed in work for our own interests? Could you rate your schedule on a meter from 1-10? If that’s the index of need for physical rest, multiply by 10 for the need for spiritual rest. I am reminded how much more I loved the Sabbath in college when my schedule was most wearying. But I must admit that there is a point where weariness can its self spoil rest. Is that why the Sabbath is lost on so many, or that we are too busy the other six days to know that spiritual rest is needed more often than Sabbath? Even doing the deeds of Christ can weary the body and spirit.

I’m glad Ellen White qualifies rest. It’s more than sleep or recreation.

“The rest which Christ and His disciples took was not self-indulgent rest. The time they spent in retirement was not devoted to pleasure seeking. They talked together regarding the work of God, and the possibility of bringing greater efficiency to the work.” DA377

There is a reason for all this beyond health.

“Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good.” DA378

Prayer seems to go first when over worked. (I hope that’s not just me).  Prayer itself requiring a certain quality of emotional energy for me become a challenge when fatigued. I suppose that just as with every other priority, practiced intentionality is needed to make time for prayer, for the Word, and for rest in Christ. I deeply value the Sabbath, but realize that if I don’t rest in Christ a little each day, I might even spoil a greater rest at the end of the week.


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