You’re feeling tired and not knowing what to do. However,
there is no sign of you slowing down as you’ve got many
other obligation outside the office to fulfil – studying for that
big exam, doing the grocery shopping, or preparing yourself
and the children for church service, the list goes on and on and
on. Does that sound familiar? If it does, do not panic, you are
not alone in this.Believers and non-believers alike find themselves in a
never-ending cycle of duties and responsibilities. It is almost
as if we exist only to engage in these activities and chores. In a
world of 24/7 activities, we are in danger of starving ourselves
of the necessary break we and our bodies need. I often wonder
whether our forefathers ever lived such busy and hectic lives
and still were able to live for many years. I don’t know about
you but I strongly believe that there is a co-relation between
how much we rest and how long we live here on earth. To find
out whether this statement is true, we need to go back to the
beginning of life.
In Scripture, it is recorded that the Patriarchs Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob each lived until they were well advanced in
years. They lived in an era in which there were no blackberries,
Facebook, or other online social-networking tools that are
supposed to make our lives better. So why is it that we are
living more stressful lives even though we have all the “tools”
to make our lives better? I think it is because we have
gradually neglected an important ingredient our lives – REST.
And in order for us to fully appreciate this ingredient, it is
important to go back to where it all began and to the architect.
God – The creator of rest
In his infinite wisdom, God gave us this timeless and
precious commodity called rest. This was to help us live long
and fulfilled lives. Besides, as the creator of the human race,
He knew our abilities, capabilities, frailties, and limits. He
realized that at some point we would need to rest our bodies
and allow them to recuperate so that we can function at the
And even as the all-knowing and all-powerful, He knew how
important rest was to the body and this is demonstrated in the
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had
been doing so on the seventh day, He rested from all his work”
(Genesis 2:2 NIV).
Not only did God rest after creating the universe but He
also recognised this day by “blessing the seventh day and
made it holy because on it, He rested from all the work of
creating that He had done” (Genesis 2:3). In other words, He
acknowledged from His experience that for man to live and
fulfil his years on earth, he will need to have rest; hence God
sanctified a week day as a holy day. So why have so many of us
human beings not been able to recognise this important day
in our lives? If the Creator put these days for our benefit, why
have we flouted these rules, the evidence of which is all around
for us to see?
Perhaps, we as a people are making a statement to the
effect that we no longer want to work with God. We may not
say it audibly but through our actions we are saying loud and
clear that we no longer need God. This is a very dangerous
place for us to be. There are literally hundreds of examples to
illustrate this point. When we decide to live life outside of God’s
protection, we are exposed to a lot of enemies both from within
and without. The question is; how can we solve this problem?
First of all, we have to repent and acknowledge God as the
ultimate source of everything we are and everything we hope
to be. This involves knowing and understanding His will for our
lives, that He is there for all of us.
Secondly, we also need to recognise that His laws and
ways of doing things are primarily there to help us live our lives
to the fullest and not to condemn us. Under the New Covenant,
His grace is the overriding factor in our lives, and if we are
prepared to see it that way and thus embrace everything He
has done for us, we will confidently be able to live fulfilled lives.
We will also have to accept the fact that the Holy Days and
Sabbath and are not there to constrain us. Rather, they are
there to help fulfil our responsibility of taking care of what He’s
entrusted to us. Then, we will see these days as precious and
thus observe them because of the benefits we get from them
rather than seeing them as hindrances.
Again, for us to fulfil our potential here on earth, it is
important to recognize these special days as being part of the
measures put in place by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
He did this to keep our bodies in shape and help us realize the
purpose for which He placed us on earth. Anything short of that
will amount to wilful disobedience of the Lord Himself.