Last week the local pool held its annual "Parent's Day Out." (It's called Parents Day, but it's really MOMS Day Out. ) We moms wait for this event all year. Childcare is provided in the clubhouse while the moms lay by the pool and enjoy a catered lunch. Best of all, we can rest and close our eyes. Any mom with little ones knows you never, ever close your eyes at the pool. It is the most relaxing day of the year.
But is it biblical to rest? Should we feel guilty for taking time out of our busy schedules to rest? Rest is first introduced in the bible in Genesis 2:2, yes the second verse of the bible. God rested on the seventh day, making it a holy day, so that all should rest. Do you think God needed a rest? I doubt it! He is all powerful! Yet, he was setting the standard that we should follow. My friend Sonya blogged about this here, and challenged her readers to get their work done in six days so we too can observe a day of rest.
An Encouraging Words devotion I received reminds us that in 1 Kings 5:13-14 it says "Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. He sent them to Lebanon in shifts, 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home." Finding a balance between work and home is increasingly difficult for both men and women. Perhaps these verses give us a clue as to a healthy pattern: work one-third of your time, and let the rest be for home and personal time. In fact, the typical eight-hour day reflects this balance.
But what about the New Testamant fans. What did Jesus have to say about rest? Jesus often encouraged the disciples to come away with him and rest. An example of this is found in Mark 6. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Yes, I took a day off last Wednesday at the pool. A day of rest. And I'm a better wife and mom for it. This week, I encourage you to find some time and rest.
Ezekiel 20:18-20 "'Then I addressed myself to their children in the desert: "Don't do what your parents did. Don't take up their practices. Don't make yourselves filthy with their no-god idols. I myself am God, your God: Keep my statutes and live by my laws. Keep my Sabbaths as holy rest days, signposts between me and you, signaling that I am God, your God." (The Message)
Matthew 11:28 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." (The Message)
Mark 6:30 "The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, "Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest." For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat. " (The Message)
**I'll be publishing an additional blog tomorrow (Tuesday) on the subject of grief. It's not a fun subject, but in this case a timely one.