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Rest by God’s Design #it’sgood

The more we learn about God and the more mature we get as Christ-followers, the deeper we understand this truth:

God’s ways are the best ways for us.

We know that God is good; even the most basic church songs tell us that. Nonetheless, it is hard to completely grab onto this truth and walk it out in complete trust.

The thing is, sometimes we think we know better than God. Pride sneaks in, and we think somehow, we can outsmart God. It sounds ridiculous, but any time we’re upset when we don’t get our way, that is our own pride rearing its ugly head.

Let’s look at the creation of the world. The Bible gives us an account of the creation of the world. In Genesis 1: 1-31, we can read the order of what God created. What we don’t read is the how. What we do know is that He simply spoke and things appeared. He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Gen. 1:3, NIV).

Last time I checked, I could hardly get my kids to put on their shoes when I spoke. And I have never created supper with just one word. But God, in His power, wisdom, and unreal creativity, spoke our world into existence. He knew the order to create things; the last thing He made was man. God created Adam after plants were growing and animals were roaming the earth so the man could have something to eat. It would not have been wise to create man on the first day when only light and darkness existed.

If we take a deeper look into creation, focusing on one animal, we can observe the intricacies God designed.  The woodpecker has a special provision in his head, so when he pecks a tree, he does not give himself brain damage. It’s amazing to think of the exact calculations and plans that went into one tiny bird, let alone hundreds of thousands of different creatures!

And when God made man, His crowning glory of creation, He became actively involved. He formed man with His own hands and breathed into him God’s very own breath. (Gen. 2:7)

After each day, six in all, God looked at what He had made and “saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:10). After He made man on the sixth day, He “saw it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).

If you know the story, you know what God did next. On the seventh day, God rested.

Makes sense, right? I mean, God just created the whole universe. He was probably exhausted! Wrong! God was in no way worn out by His act of creating. In fact, God never sleeps (Psalm 121:3-4).

So why does the Bible tell us that God rested on the seventh day? Oh, it must be some kind of example, you know,  for our own good.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” -Genesis 2:2-3

God was setting an example for us. If God, who needed no rest, purposefully set aside one day out of the week, calling it holy, don’t you think we, who need rest, should obey?

God knows that life is exhausting. He created us to work. Even Adam, in the Garden of Eden, had a job. First, Adam named all the animals, and second, he had to work the ground and subdue creation, ruling over it.

God created us to work, but He also created us to rest. Why? Because He knows we need it. 

Let me put your mind at ease: resting looks different for everyone. Some people can rest on Sundays, but not pastors, right? They have to pick a different day! I’ve learned some things about rest from my farmer hubby. In the busy seasons of farming, it would be so easy to keep working and never stop until the work is done. But his family purposefully sets aside Sunday to rest, recuperate and be with family. My hubby abstains from doing any kind of chore that he would normally do the other six days a week.

Taking the time to rest is essential to our way of life. Our bodies were made to rest, and our families and other relationships need it too. Not only is it essential for our health; resting is obedience to God. And when we obey God, we are blessed (Deut. 28:1-9).

I go back to my husband’s family as an example of that blessing. While many farmers struggled in the 1980s, a time of recession in our economy, my husband’s family thrived. They have always experienced success in their work. Coincidence? I don’t believe in them! God constantly blesses them because they agree with God’s plan.

Do you find it hard to set aside one day to rest? Will you give it a try this week? Pick one day where you abstain from your normal chores or work. Purposefully do something that brings you rest and refreshment. And then just wait to see the blessings that come your way. #it’sgood

After all, God knows best.

Photo by Joel Peel on Unsplash

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Kristen Johnson

Kristen is an "accidental farmer's wife" and stay-at-home mom of 3. Accidental, because it was never in her plan to "just" be a mom. But it was God's. Former English teacher now turned MOPS Coordinator and Speaker, Kristen now writes at nap-time, blogging about her silly kids and her farming adventures, as a mom Called by God. She lives in Minnesota on a farm with her family, dog and 5 cats.