So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. – Genesis 2:3
Getting rest is an integral part of human life. Studies show that if you forgo rest then the mechanism in your brain that helps you handle stress and conflict will begin to breakdown. If you persist in your restless state then paranoia and even hallucinations can work there way into your life. Researchers are even beginning to find connections between forgoing rest and death! You can, it seems, die of exhaustion.
What science is showing us, The Lord knows by virtue of his being the creator of all. Consider, the first thing God did upon completing everything that exists is to rest and to bless that day and pass on that holy rest to his creatures. Did you realize that following the Lord’s command in this matter means that we will spend one seventh of our lives at rest! This is in addition to the time that we spend asleep; researchers suggest that we will spend 25 years of our life asleep over the course of an average life span. This restful orientation we receive from The Lord is an oddity among ancient (and even modern) religions. It seems that when we create a religion we forget about our need of rest, yet The Lord knows that it’s essential to us.
Jesus models how important rest is to us. Throughout the Gospel of Luke Jesus slips off by himself late at night to be with his Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just prior to his passion, Jesus spends restful holy time in prayer. Jesus even invites his disciples to depart from the busyness of the world for the rest they are so in need of.
In the Scriptures The Lord calls to each of us, “come to me all you who are heavy laden and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Coming to Jesus gives us rest. We need this rest. Science tells us we do, The Lord tells us we do, and Jesus tells us that he is our rest. Neurologically speaking, our brains are designed to respond positively when we pray. Good chemicals that give you positive feelings are released when you pray. That means that God has designed you to feel good, to feel restful, when you talk to him.
My sisters and brothers, we are created to need rest and to find that rest in Jesus. This life is busy, it’s hectic, it beats us down. In the midst of what troubles and burdens you call to mind these most basic things of God’s good creation. You’re created with a basic need for Sabbath. Get your sleep at night. Rest on the Lord’s day. Carve out time each and every day to pray and to read God’s word because these things will make you feel good and restful. Many people often say that they are too busy to pray. However, many other saints have often remarked that they are simply too busy not to pray! You who are carrying heavy burdens go to Jesus and he will give you rest!