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I know few people who really get the work-rest balance. I know I struggle with it at times. I either work until I drop or tune out and be completely and utterly lazy. But that is not the example God provides, nor the example Jesus provides.
We are made in the image of Elohim, the Great God of Creation. He is imagination and creativity. Genesis 1 and 2 are the example Elohim gave us. God said, then He saw, and then He said it was good. He finished what He started. Then He rested. God understands the importance of rest. Not laziness. Not work avoidance. But true rest.
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV
Jesus also understood the work-rest balance, even in the midst of people continually hounding Him. His example can be found in Luke 9:10-18. Jesus had taken the disciples to a place of solitude to rest after all that they had been doing. But the crowds found him. Jesus had compassion on the crowds, and fed the five thousand + people both spiritually and physically. This means He did not blow up at the people who needed Him, or were seeking Him out. He tended to them, and then went off alone to recharge. In verse 18, we find that Jesus has left the crowds again.
“And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him…”
Jesus understood that He had to be recharged by time with the Father. It was the only way He would be able to have anything to give His disciples and the people that they were ministering to. Jesus took time to Himself to spend with God, even though He was continually sought out. This tells me that, like Jesus, we NEED time to recharge in order to be at our best.
Jesus is both our example and our Shepherd. Psalm 23 tells us that our Shepherd leads us to peace and rest, even when times are hardest.
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
The point is that God blesses the work of our hands and He also blesses a day of rest. Balance helps you stay healthy and strong. It makes you better at work and better with people.
Happy Labor Day!