It’s pretty universal that The 10 Commandments are good metrics for morality in our society. Do not steal, do not murder, honor your parents. These are intuitive rules that I believe we are all born with – the distinction from right and wrong.
However, there is one commandment that is not intuitive in our society: #4: Keep the Sabbath Holy, aka: take one day off a week and rest. Of all of the commandments, this is probably the one that most people consider “optional.” And why is that? It’s resting. It’s not like God is asking us to do something that hard. Just relax, rest, enjoy His presence. Should be easy!
And yet my natural reaction is “You’re asking me to take a day off and do nothing but rest? But I have too much to do! You don’t really mean that do you, God? Surely you know how much I have to get done today.”
Psalm 127:1-2 says:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
I love that – For he gives to his beloved sleep.
How often do we wake up early, go to bed late, constantly feeling tired? I was getting into bed the other night and said to J: “Wouldn’t it be so nice if we didn’t have to sleep? If I could just get stuff done in these next 8 hours instead of sleeping? I would be so productive!”
Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. If you are having problems to sleep, see here this post about the freber method.
But that’s exactly why God calls us to rest: to have a daily reminder that He is God and we are not. We have to let go of our control and trust that He will work in the midst of our rest. We are asked us to take a break from our work, our tasks, our lists so that we can rely on his faithfulness and trust that He will provide and give us abundantly more than we ask or imagine.
If God saved us when we were His enemies – how much more will He take care of us as His sons and daughters?