by Dr. Paul Chappell
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Resting is not always laziness; it’s sometimes rejuvenation.
One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don't get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But you didn't notice,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”
Rest is something we all need, but sometimes we don’t get enough of it. Rest refreshes and refuels the body for the work ahead. Our human bodies cannot go days without rest and not be hurt. While sometimes it may be necessary to work long hours or put in overtime to get a project done, there needs to be a time of rest afterwards.
Perhaps Leonardo da Vinci said it best when he said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment...Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen.” Da Vinci was not a lazy man. In his lifetime he accomplished many great things as a painter, sculptor, poet, architect, engineer, city planner, scientist, inventor, anatomist, military genius, and philosopher.
As Christians, our rest is found in the Lord. John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you.” The word abide means “to remain.” Taking time to abide or remain with Christ brings rest and refreshment. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God promises rest as we seek Him.
Throughout the Bible we are shown that God desires we find rest and refuge in Him. Psalm 23, perhaps one of the most well-known chapters in the Bible, says in verses two and three, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”
Are you running low on energy and strength? Could you use some rest and refreshment right now? God offers rest when we seek Him. Carve out time in your schedule this week to find rest in Christ. Whether it’s taking a drive and talking to Him, spending an hour alone reading His Word, listening to godly music and praising Him, reflecting on the beauty of His nature, or however you find a way to be with God, take time to find rest in Him and let Him strengthen you.