Rest or Get Sick
By Peter Lundell –
For a long time, I avoided taking a full day off. I wasn’t earning enough money to pay off credit cards, so I worked harder and longer. Preparing for a conference, I went almost a week with little sleep and crashed after returning home. I kept going and got worse again. My body seemed to break down, and I’ve been sick for weeks. I was a fool.
I’ve told others that if they didn’t rest, their bodies would eventually take it out on them. I’ve heard the lectures and read the articles on how, if I don’t rest, my body will take it out on me. But hearing and acknowledging is different from listening and doing.
And when I did rest, I kept busy. How American of me. How utterly ungodly!
I ate right but acted as if rest were for the weak—a subtle form of arrogance I could not see at that time.
Of all the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath rest is the one Christians like me think is okay to break. Some of us even do it with a sense of increased self worth.
We have rewritten Descartes’ dictum, “I think; therefore I am” to read: “I’m busy; therefore I am.” We assume being busy is a virtue. But in the Bible, Israelites were punished for breaking the Sabbath. There is no biblical virtue in busyness.
The Bible says twice that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. When we don’t take care of our temples—whether the way I did or by stuffing them with junk food—we can’t very well claim to have much respect for God.
After resting a lot, I’m slowly getting stronger. More important, I must change my habits.
And if I don’t; if I refuse to change? My body just might prove to me that if I don’t control it, it will surely control me.
Is there anything in your life that needs to change?
PRAYER: Lord, teach me to know and live in a way that I wouldn’t think myself so important as to not rest. Teach me to draw near to You in my rest. Teach me to keep my temple well.
BIBLE VERSE: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30 NIV).