In my “previous life” as a Christian counselor I specialized in working with over-achieving, perfectionist women who suffered from anxiety-based disorders. They were extraordinary, amazing people who’d accomplished much, but it was never enough. They often defined themselves by the goals they’d achieved, but somehow the achievement left them wanting. They believed rest was not for the weary—for certainly, they would have partaken. Rest was for the lazy.
Of course they weren’t actually calling God lazy, but certainly they looked at His seventh-day activity as one of uselessness. But that can’t be. God is never useless.
So if God’s rest is not useless, neither is ours. Research on the brain shows there is much work being done while we sleep. Much of what we process about what we’ve learned through our waking hours happens at that time. Repair of wear and tear on our body is done at rest. Rest is so important God even built it into whole seasons. Wild animals hibernate and vegetation stops producing fruit for months out of the year. In fact, blueberry bushes will not produce fruit in the summer unless they have a certain amount of time below freezing in the winter. They need rest, too.
God not only commanded we rest on the seventh day, he also commanded farmers rest their fields for periods of time. I’m thinking rest is kind of important.
So why is it we look at this “activity” with scorn? I think it’s pride. We want to show that we can do it all without our Creator’s help. He tells us to follow His commands—even to rest—and He will make things happen. Hard for an over-achiever to do, but that’s what surrender to His Will looks like.
So submit to God. And don’t forget to rest.
Connie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). Come visit her on one of her other blogs: