“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1 CSB
Rest is something we don’t do enough of in our lives. I just googled “benefits of rest” to see what would pop up. It’s amazing what rest does for us: boosts our immune system, improves our memory, restores and energizes, stimulates creativity, and it really does make you more beautiful. Yet we don’t do it. We let fret and worry steal this valuable asset from us. We don’t schedule in down time in our schedules. When we’re budgeting our time, rest is the first thing to go out the window. What are we to do?
Start with resting in God.
A pastor at a church we visited recently while traveling used this analogy. There was a man cutting firewood. He was using an ax and his muscle. He was able to cut about a cord and a half of wood a day (equivalent to a pick up truck filled to the brim, and overflowing). Deciding there had to be a better way, he goes to the hardware store and asks the salesman about a chainsaw. The salesman shows him the best they have. He told him he would be able to cut at least 6 cords a day of wood. “Sold” says the man, and off he goes with his new chain saw. The next day he returns to the store, plops it on the counter and informs the salesman it doesn’t work. He wants his money back, he barely got a cord of wood chopped with it. Stumped, the salesman looks it over. He checks the gas, yes there is gas. He looks at the spark plugs, all seems to be well. He pulls back the chord a few times and the chainsaw roars to life. The man’s face is filled with surprise as he asks the salesman, “What’s that noise?”
The man didn’t know how to use the chainsaw properly. He didn’t turn it on, He didn’t tap into its power, as a result, he didn’t receive the benefit from it that it offered him. We’re the same way when we don’t tap into the power of God. One of the tools He has given us is rest, specifically resting in Him. Trusting that whatever troubles you’re facing, God is bigger than them. Trusting that you can schedule downtime into your schedule and the world really won’t come to an end. Trusting that when you lay your head on your pillow, close your eyes, allow your mind to shutdown and sleep, you are doing one of the holiest things you can do. You are resting in Him, restoring and renewing your strength, improving your health in countless ways, and allowing God to do what only He can do.
I love what Rick Warren says, “Sometimes the holiest thing you can do is take a nap.” It’s true, when you rest and refresh yourself, you’re more equipped to help and care for others. God even commands it, on the 7th day we are to rest and do no work (Exodus 34:21 NIV). God has given you the tools in Him. In Him you can rest, gas is full, spark plugs are working, all you have to do is pull the chord.