There are many Scriptures that speak of rest.
God gave the world seasons and it is not a coincidence that some seasons are busier than others. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. Yes, seasons of growth and activity are included with seasons of quiet and rest.
Gardening includes many lessons involving the process of waiting. Gardeners find immense satisfaction in planting seeds and watching them mature. It takes time to witness the fruit of their labor. Hard work and special attention are required to achieve a harvest. But, when a special rose blooms or berries on a blueberry bush ripen, a true fulfillment is realized. Patience is always rewarded, be it internal spiritual growth or the harvest of a sweet tangible fruit.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
While plants are covered with snow, gardeners must wait. They too must rest. Is it possible that God intentionally created a world with seasons to teach His children that rest is a necessary component for growth?
All humans require sleep to remain healthy. Studies have shown that without good sleep there can be wide-ranging negative effects on our cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. When looking at children, science has found that children grow overnight while sleeping. Sleep encourages the body to develop and bones/muscles to stretch. The balance of hormones is just right to help lengthen the body. Rest is necessary for good health! Rest allows the body to grow!
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
There are many Scriptures that speak of rest. Rest is achieved when we feel secure and at peace. If we abide in Christ, we are dwelling and resting upon His provisions and promises. In everyday life, we relax in the presence of friends and the family members we trust. This also applies to our relationship with God. When we surrender our timeline to God and obediently trust His plan for us, we will grow. By resting on His promises, we will find peace, grow spiritually, and cultivate a life surrendered to Christ Jesus.
During adversity, we may feel the need to fight and conquer obstacles. This can be exhausting! Although there are times when we should take action, there are other times when God tells us to be still and let Him fight the battle.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’ ”
Times of rest are also seasons of equipping. God may be training you for a ministry or task. He enables, qualifies, equips, and provides. He knows the best way to do this because our Lord does not send us out to fail.
Consider Saul’s conversion along the Damascus road. Saul, later renamed Paul, spent three years in Arabia before entering full-time ministry. It is likely that God revealed many deep spiritual truths during this time, equipping Paul for his future purpose. They were not wasted years, but years of preparation so that when he was given the opportunity to speak, he would have something significant to say. Paul’s example should be an encouragement to us. Our perspective should be that quiet intimate times alone with God are not only valuable and necessary.
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.”
Galatians 1:15-17 (NKJV)