Rest Is Hard Work... But It Is Worth It
Work is often hard. If you are doing it right, it will certainly have difficult elements. Work is so hard that some people decide they can't, or won't do it. That's not good. We were designed to work, to be creative, to make things, to be productive. Work is a 'four-letter word', but it is a good four letter word, like love, or life, or food. Work was probably always supposed to require effort, even before the fall in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were caretakers of the Earth. That is no small task. But once you add the brokenness of sin and death into a large task, it takes on certain elements of difficulty that make it unbearable at times.
God told Adam that after the rebellion he would earn his living by the sweat of his brow, and the Earth would not yield as freely as planned. Adam had been working before he sinned. But after he broke relationship with God, that work was not as fruitful. It became a lifelong struggle. And it is to this day.
In fact, the farther we go, the more difficult work seems to be, and the more it takes from our life. A warning you may hear from time to time is, "Don't be so busy making a living that you don't have time to make a life." I don't even think I have to explain that. It is obvious. For most of history work was difficult. It was a large part of life, and most people were happy if their work could provide the basics. If it provided for luxuries, that was icing on the cake. Then in the 20th century, automation made it so that we didn't have to work as hard at many jobs. It also meant we could produce more stuff. At the same time there was a shift in thinking that the amount of stuff you had somehow defined your own value and worth. So people began working longer hours, not to meet their needs, but to serve their wants... to have more luxury.
In many ways, the pursuit of a more wealthy lifestyle replaced the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Now both parents were working, even though the second working spouse rarely earns enough to justify the expense of her working once all of the new costs are added in. The race to earn more that could be spent on extra stuff became the goal rather than earning enough to be able to create a stable home life. In fact, we redefined the dream. The dream used to be time with family. The dream became stuff for family. There was an idea that because we had machines working for us, we would eventually move from working 5 days a week to only laboring 3 days a week. Instead, the beast of work now often requires 6 or 7 days a week... and why? So we can buy expensive coffees and clothes we will never wear? Shopping has become the new family time. We spend money like we used to spend time.
And work has become the end... not the means to an end. God created us to be creative. But in that creation He instilled a valuable principle. He spent 6 days creating the universe. Then on the seventh day He rested from all of His labors. He is our Father, so I think He thought that His kids would just copy Him. But of course we were 'those kids', and didn't. So He spelled it our specifically at various times. "Take one day a week and do not work. Rest from your labors. Set it aside. Rest. REST. R.E.S.T." He knew this about us... we were created to produce. That's good. He made that true. But in a fallen world, our ability to produce would be corrupted and exaggerated by sin. This would be bad. Even before sin He gave us a pattern of rest. How much more important would that be after death entered us.
Yet here we are, losing the rat race, in debt up to our hairline, trying to impress our friends with our lifestyle, and we are losing our minds, and our families to the wallet monster. What we need to realize is that the wallet monster doesn't just eat our money. He eats our clock... our time... the most valuable and limited element we have. We need to starve the wallet monster. And one way you do that is to rest.
Rest is hard work. I know... that sounds strange, but think about it. Rest is hard work. Isn't that true? Does rest come natural, or do you have to schedule it? Do you have to put some things in place to make it happen? Does something always come off to take you away from rest? Can you truly rest, or do your mind and body easily drift to doing? After your time of rest, do you feel like you need a vacation?
I'm not saying that work is bad, or we rid our lives of it. But we need balance. And anytime we do not have balance, we are one step away from a fall. Balance in this area is difficult. The enemy does not want what we need to come easy. Sometimes it is a battle to find work. Satan will work in that. Other times it is a battle to find rest. Satan does not discriminate. He will work in that as well. Anything to keep us off balance. The word 'work' is found about 620 times in the Bible. The word 'rest' is found about 600 times. Talk about balance...
I encourage you to fight hard to make rest as natural in your life as you do with other important things. The Bible tells us that if a man does not work, he shouldn't eat. I'm here to tell you that if you don't rest, you will not enjoy the working or the eating. Put rest in its proper place. Seek rest. For when you seek rest, you seek the best. Work is good, but rest is rare. And what is more rare is more valuable.
By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation. (Genesis 2:2-3)
If God rests, so should we. Fight for rest. Work hard for it. The rewards of rest will bless your efforts in work. Yes... work is a four letter word. But so is rest. Say it today.
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11/12/2016 09:13:38 am
My goodness son that was a sermon not a devotional... Long winded much... Hehehe. Point made over and over. I got it though.
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.