The concept of rest and work — the relationship, the need and reasons for both — has been on my mind lately. How should I rest? How should I work?
Rest freely. It bears repeating, so much repeating, but the weight of the world does not sit on our shoulders. We are not hamsters running on the one and only wheel, keeping all things in place and running smoothly. It feels like that some days, doesn’t it? We buy into that lie so often, whether we acknowledge it mentally, with our frantic actions.
As children of God, we can rest from our work completely secure in the plan and power of our Father, Who is holding the world together. Our work is done to please God, not to justify our existence or earn our salvation. Our work is not life or death; the death and life are already accomplished in Jesus Christ. We live in that completely sufficient life whether we are working or resting.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for He gives to His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)
The last part of this verse is a sweet assurance, but we can’t ignore the first half. If we run ourselves ragged, working anxiously as if it all depends on us, we are missing out on a sweet gift from God. He knows our weakness and our need for oblivious sleep. He graciously provides what we need. Will we accept it?
Will we sleep like babies? Will we pause and rest with the abandon of children playing outside in the treehouse? Babies are not maintaining the household. Children do not let concern over providing for the family take away from the joy of playing with friends. If they do, something is wrong. They lack sufficient care or have an unnecessary fear.
God provides abundantly, so graciously, for His children. We have what we need. We do not need to fear, whether we believe that in any given moment or not. The reality stands. It is for us to sit and relax (or sleep) in that reality.