It’s Okay to Rest
By Rick Warren
Many people don’t see the value in getting enough rest. But God knows that, without proper rest, you’ll struggle to be who he wants you to be.
Rest is so important to God that he even put it in the Ten Commandments: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:8-10 NLT).
When you’re anxiously working from early morning to late night, you’ll burn out—and that’s not what God wants for you. He wants you to get enough rest.
In 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah needed some serious rest after a confrontation with 450 pagan prophets of the false god Baal. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were leading the nation of Israel to follow these gods. In a dramatic moment before all of Israel, Elijah asked God to send down fire to consume a sacrifice and, thus, prove he was the one true God.
God sent the fire—but the experience left Elijah emotionally and physically drained. Then he heard that the queen planned to assassinate him, so he ran away and hid in a cave. Elijah became so discouraged and depressed that he asked God to kill him.
What was God's solution to Elijah's depression? God gave him food and then let him go to sleep. Then God woke him up, fed him some more, and sent him back to sleep. Elijah ate and slept, ate and slept.
Maybe that would be a good model for you to follow right now.
When I went through a season of depression after starting Saddleback Church, I would drive myself to the beach every Saturday afternoon and watch the waves for a couple hours. It calmed me and helped me fight my fatigue, frustration, and fear.
I noticed that the tide goes out, but it always comes back in. When the tide is out, the beach reveals all kinds of junk and driftwood. The shore doesn't look very good when the tide is out. But the tide always comes back in.
Today, if you are so tired—so fatigued that you are barely holding on—don’t give up. The tide will come back in.
Take time to rest and remember: “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary; His understanding is beyond searching out. He gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak” (Isaiah 40:28-29 BSB).
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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