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A Time To Rest


In Ecclesiastes 3, we are told there is a time for everything. In 3:3, we are told “a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up.”[1] And in 7:7, there is “a time to tear and a time to sew [mend.}”[2] In this season there is a time to rest. Psalms 4:8 states: “I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.”[3] When God calls us to rest, He calls us to listen out of love and care for our well-being. This commandment is meant to be listened to, despite what life might say otherwise.



The Merriam Webster dictionary defines rest as:

“a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

2a: freedom from activity or labor

b: a state of motionlessness or inactivity (..)

4: peace of mind or spirit.”[4]



Resting is beneficial for our health because it gives our bodies time to heal, gives doctors time to diagnose problems and treat as necessary. Biologically resting is our body’s natural organic way to re-energize our batteries, rebuild blood cells and other important elements to our healing. The Bible speaks a great deal about finding time to rest. In Hebrews 4:9-11, it talks about the Sabbath rest. It states:

“So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God, for those who enter God’s rest also rest from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs..”[5]



This passage clearly states that is necessary to take a day of rest from the labors of the world. In the Creation story, in Genesis 2:2-3, we are told that on the 7th day of creation, God rested. It is literally in the second chapter of the first book of the Old Testament.



Resting doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping but for some sleep might be necessary. According to the article: “The 7 types of rest that every person needs by Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD”[6], there are seven types of rest that should restore one’s life.



They are as follows:

  1. Physical rest-which can be passive such as sleeping or napping or active (yoga [not necessarily recommended for Christians due to its demonic spiritual components]) stretching, massage therapy or other similar exercises that improves the body’s circulation or flexibility.
  2. Mental rest- the author recommends one to schedule short mental breaks every two hours to help one slow down a little and encourages one to write nagging thoughts into a note pad that could keep one awake or cause unnecessary stress or anxiety.
  3. Sensory rest- a break from bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations that can cause one’s senses to become overwhelmed.
  4. Creative rest-this is very important in jobs where heavy problem solving, brainstorming, or having to create a lot becomes part of one’s daily activities. “Creative rest awakens the awe and wonder inside each of us.”[7] It also gives one permission to enjoy nature, art and other spaces one does not necessarily see on a regular basis.
  5. Emotion rest-taking a break from people who require a lot of emotional energy. It requires: “having the time and space to freely express your feelings and cut back on people pleasing. Emotional rest also requires the courage to be authentic. An emotionally rested person can answer the question “How are you today?” with a truthful “I’m not okay” — and then go on to share some hard things that otherwise go unsaid.”[8]
  6. Social rest requires one to take a break from relationships that exhaust oneself and encourage one to be “with positive and supportive people.”[9]
  7. Spiritual rest-“the ability to connect beyond the physical and mental and feel a deep sense of belonging, love, acceptance and purpose.”[10] In Christianity, connecting with one’s faith, having a relationship with God that isn’t stressful but peaceful.



These seven types of rest can be applied in the following scenarios and points because they touch the Christian and human soul.



Resting teaches us to slow down and set up boundaries. Respecting one’s boundaries and encouraging others to respect the boundaries and the word NO is another important component to resting.  Sometimes one isn’t called to do a human impression of Superwoman or Superman. I know many who do it on a regular basis but at what cost to their mental or physical health?  It also teaches us how to live a healthier life because some tasks are delegated to other people. Resting gives us an opportunity to step back and gather or reevaluate our thoughts and direction for our lives. When necessary, make active changes such as discussed in the article called: Spring cleaning that is also written by this author.



Resting also involves giving one permission to take a break from energy busting people or from people who suck the energy out of oneself. In the busy office, it is often permissible to take five minutes, to use the washroom and take a break from the stress around one. (Washroom breaks are the most permissible forms of these breaks since most companies permit them during company time.) A five-minute break from a challenging situation or difficult person can often give one clarity and enable the person to continue their duties of the day.



Taking a break from social media can be therapeutic in some cases because it gives one the opportunity to filter out the misinformation and nonsense that seems to be prevalent in this realm. There is a lot of pressures that social media places on the soul and not all of it is positive.



Taking a break from technology on a regular basis can and does re-energize the batteries.  The consistent brightness of the devices are not always good for one’s eyes. Some office set ups are also unhealthy which can cause the body to tire out very easily and can lead to future health issues such as carpal tunnel or back pain. This is why it is always a good idea to look up the ergonomics of working at the office for a long period of time. The height of a desk chair, desk, and height of the monitor can cause the body fatigue and sometimes even physical bodily pain. Many secretaries and other people working in the office full-time have reported experiencing neck and back pain because their desks weren’t set up properly. In Secretarial school, one of the things the program teaches you (at least in Quebec, Canada,) is how to set up one’s desk that is ergonomically correct. This is applicable at work as well as at home. Today many people have home offices and work remotely. Foot cushions, placing a laptop on a laptop stand with a two-inch book can prevent a lot of unwanted future pain and discomfort. Here is a link from the Mayo clinic to help one set up a home office safely.



By following the recommendations in that website as well as similar ones, it reduces the stress on the body and can help the body rest because it is in less pain. The same concept applies to other devices because improper ergonomics can cause bodily harm. For instance, investing in a good case for a tablet can reduce the stress on one’s hand and neck. In addition, sometimes for reasons outside ergonomics, it is great to take a break from technology and go for a walk, work on a craft project such as cross stitching, knitting, getting into miniatures, painting, exercise classes, work on a craft project, read a book etc… Disconnecting from technology gives our brains and spirits a break from the constant flow of information and the readiness to be accessible at all times. Or if technology is used, use it as secondary to the primary task such as using the TV or music as background noise.  Sometimes listening to worship music while one reads the Bible, working on a craft etc. The aim is to use these techniques as a form to relax and re-energize.



Resting also involves finding time to spend time with the Lord. Matthew 11:28-30 states:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”[11]



It means finding time to read the Bible, pray, contemplate, and relax in God’s presence.  It is also important to find a church that energizes one’s spiritual batteries. Sometimes Bible studies or small groups can help too, provided they don’t overload one’s physical and spiritual health.  Ideally the church should be close by in hopes it reduces the commute time and can develop lasting relationships inside that community.  If the church is draining one’s spirit or the leadership/congregation is ungodly,  overbearing, or irritating, sometimes its necessary to find a new church that feeds the soul. The same thing applies to all churches and non-paid groups one attends since if the people aren’t going to be respectful, there is no reason to stay.



Right resting should be an active part of one’s life.  It involves respecting one’s body when it needs to rest, relax, and sleep. When possible, it involves going to bed early, giving the body permission to sleep in or take five minutes to breath during challenging situations. Resting prevents burn out and sometimes treats it too. It prepares us for the next steps or calling.



Resting means taking care of one’s health. This involves seeing the doctor regularly and if one has health issues make sure they are followed up as directed by the medical professionals. If tests are ordered, try to get them done as soon as the medical system permits. Or when a health issue develops, instead of allowing it to linger, see someone for it. I know someone who found a lump in her breast and instead of reporting it to her doctor, she allowed it to linger and is now in 4th stage breast cancer. If she saw someone when the lump was found, there is a good chance, she could have fought it. We will never know if she would have succeeded but early detection always gives one a better chance at fighting potential terminal disease. But sadly, that option isn’t available because medical treatment was left too late. I am not saying this to scare anyone but with ailments such as lumps in the breast, blood in the urine, feces, or non-menstrual bleeding, chest pain or discomfort in the upper body, numbness in extremities, severe headaches, drooping or weakness down one side of the body, shortness of breath or wheezing, persistent or recurring abdominal pain[12] etc., it is best to seek medical care, as soon as possible. By catching things early or by handling medical conditions according to medical advice, it enables health conditions to be properly treated,  gives the body the ability to heal and handle any challenges that might come along. Moreover, when handling medical challenges, it is important to follow medical advice and rest accordingly. Following doctors’ orders for rest, for example doing light duties and no heavy lifting permits the body to rest and heal. For proper healing to happen, it is vital that these orders are followed because long term, it could cause other unwanted issues to develop.



God calls us to rest because He knows what the future holds.



As we move forward, it’s important to realize that even on the 7th day as described in Genesis 2:2-3. It states:

“On the sixth day God finished the work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that He had done in creation.…  God rested on the sabbath.”[13]



 If He can find time to rest, so can you.









[6] Dalton- Smith Saundra MD “ The 7 Types of rest that every person needs. TEDEd

[7] Dalton- Smith Saundra MD “ The 7 Types of rest that every person needs. TEDEd

[8] Dalton- Smith Saundra MD “ The 7 Types of rest that every person needs. TEDEd

[9] Dalton- Smith Saundra MD “ The 7 Types of rest that every person needs. TEDEd

[10] Dalton- Smith Saundra MD “ The 7 Types of rest that every person needs. TEDEd







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