Struggling To Rest

Anyone who knows the Ten Commandments has heard the command to take a Sabbath rest. The charge is to take one day a week to recharge. We take a break from our busyness to refresh ourselves. Sounds good, but I really struggle to take a rest.

Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets linked two warnings together: honor the Sabbath and don’t turn to idols. Here’s one example:

Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands—because they rejected My laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated My Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols.

For me, work can become an idol. If I don’t take a Sabbath rest I’m really saying, “I can do it all.” Or maybe even, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” By saying this, I’m making my work more important than my acknowledgment that God is in control.

Here’s what I’m questioning in myself: Do I work all the time because…

I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me see why I struggle to take a Sabbath rest, and He has been showing me a few areas for improvement. I’ll be making those adjustments so that I can take a day of real rest.

I’d love your help on this one:

  • What have you learned about working smarter so that you can take a day of rest?
  • What does a “Sabbath” look like for you?
  • Have you had to deal with this issue? What resolution did you come to?

4 Responses to “Struggling To Rest”

  1. carla e brogden Says:

    Ahh dear Craig, I am learning about rest, and trust and rest and healing and rest and faith growth and rest and prayer life. My recent accident forced me to do what God had been reminding me to do for some time, “don’t try to do it all, just do what I (God) asked you to do and let me (God) do the rest.”

    The day of a treatment I feel pretty good but rest to recover from the trip there and back. The next day I feel awful as my body responds and begins the next step in healing. So I have no choice but to rest. The day after that I “feel” so much better I am tempted to do too much. But I have learned that a walk around the house with the dog and to the mail box a couple times a day is all I can or should do or I have a set back. Rest is the name of the game in healing.

    God planned for our bodies to have regular rest. He exampled that in creation and Jesus exampled that in his life on earth. I just made excuses for staying busy. My body was so rest deprived my organs were beginning to be ill but I had no idea. Until I was forced to rest and let the major injury heal, I did not know my organs were craving rest. But God had given me a pattern for health, I simply chose not to follow it!

    Like many a Christian, I took on activities— called them “responsibilities.” As a single mom of a college kid and an irregular income, I often worked 3 or 4 jobs trying to “make ends meet.” I justified this by believing that God would send me help if He felt I needed it but I wanted God to know I was willing to “do my part.” I am thinking now that maybe the help was there but I was too busy to notice it!

    Since I have no choice now but to rest and rest and rest while my body heals, I have found that indeed, all the help I needed was right there as well as the funds to pay the bills and even to make contributions! Here I had been calculating each month to determine my tithe and now I have enough to give and no income for 3 weeks and looking at many weeks ahead with no income but the regular bills are still there not to mention some interesting figures on the medical bills! I realize I didn’t trust enough that God was really going to take care of me! This realization has been embarrassing and humbling and indeed, faith building. My time in the Word, prayer, journalling, reading faith writings, has increased and my need to doze off in the midst of any of them is not guilt ridden!

    One lesson I learned while listening to my favorite preacher, Joyce Meyer. She reminds me that when Jesus went back to heaven He “was seated at the right hand of the Father.” He didn’t stay here and try to fix us all, He doesn’t stand in heaven with a clip board working out all the details of His work on earth. He sits peacefully at the side of the Father and allows God to do His work within His creation!

    What a relief it has been to sit, rest, read, nap, pray, make calls, receive guests, accept food and household assistance and be free to rest in my relationship with a loving God who has all these details covered. My life will have much more balance as I recover and get back into the work world for I do have a calling there. But my time with Him and my time to just sit in His presence will never have any guilt attached to it again for I know what I need to do and I can trust Him to do what He has promised.

    It really takes care of stress this way too! Glory!!!


  2. chadwick Says:

    Yep i have been there i worked to suport the family . it took a divorce / seperation to make me take notice of life. But in the process i lost them for a while . God is giving me more time with the kids and life isnt about work all the time . thanks for listening , chad


  3. Vernon Says:

    God rested on the seventh day as a example to us and I am sure He knows better. We think we need to rush out there because we have got so much to do but we forget all strenght, wisdom and encouragement we need all flows out of our devotion with Him. Our business leader in our church if I can call him that would sometimes pray longer and please don’t misunderstand me its not how long we pray, but the point is out of that time with God his problem solving in a day was much quicker than when he worked 24/7. All business and work God created it is all His plan so sit with the creator of all things and let Him show you how to do it. Be blessed hope it helps abit.


  4. seeker Says:

    Hi, what an honest post.

    I too struggle with rest on the sabbath and that’s what make it such a test commandment, it is much easier to tithe than to rest funnily enough!!!

    There are some weeks that I’m so tired that I long for the sabbath so I can rest and not think about nything the there are other days when I want the sabbath to be over so I can do some work.

    The problem is definitely our flesh as I’m sure that A & E did not have this problem in the garden of Eden. Also then there’s our defintion of rest. We can enjoy ourselves on this day but everything we do has to glorify Yah and not ourselves.

    You can watch biblical movies, read a scripture based book, enjoy nature, help people in need, go out to evangelise or just rest.

    One thing I have found useful is stopping work by latest 1pm on Friday so that my mind ahs time to come out of work mode. Also, some days I may work on my blog. If I find my mind slipping to work I pray to Yah to help me to re-focus on Him.

    I really hope this helps you.


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