Rest Sharpens Us
Wednesday - September 15th
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 62:1-12
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
One man challenged another to a wood cutting contest that would go all day. The challenger took a quick lunch break. He had worked extremely hard throughout the morning and afternoon. The other man had a leisurely lunch break and several breaks throughout the day. The challenger was astonished and irritated to discover that the other person had chopped significantly more wood than he had at the end of the day.
"I don't get it," he remarked. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."
"But you didn't notice," the winning woodsman pointed out, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest."
In this anecdotal story, the one woodsman took his time to rest and leisurely but purposely sharpened his ax. Each break he took allowed his ax to get sharper. Thus, with each sharpening of the ax, the woodsman became more efficient and effective at chopping wood. His extra rest made him that much more successful.
God designed us physically, mentally, and emotionally to require periods of rest. We need a good night's sleep. We need regular rhythms of days off and vacations. God hardwired us to work, move, play, think, etc. But, He also hardwired us to sleep, rest, and rejuvenate.
While the Scriptures have much to say about how wrong it is to be lazy, most Americans run on the other extreme. We drive ourselves and others so hard there is no space in our schedule to take a break, get a good night's sleep, or take a day of sabbath rest. Just as the Scriptures condemn laziness, they condemn living lives frazzled without space to rest.
According to Psalm 62:5, we ultimately find our rest in God. He is the source of it. He made us for it. He causes our bodies and minds to be refreshed by rest. Rest is God-given and therefore good for each of us. When we rest, our lives, like the woodman's ax, get sharpened. Proper rest causes us to be more effective and efficient in all we do. Proper rest even means that we will be more effective and efficient in living and loving like Jesus!
Sleep and rest come from God Himself, and we are to utilize these tools to be the best we can be for Him!