Rest and Renewal
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Many Christian people just can’t be still. They must be on the go, always doing something. Consequently, they leave no room for rest and renewal. The truth is that there is nothing good about a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Working hard is good, but there must be balance, and room must be made for other things. Far to often Christians overcommit themselves in their work life and with church activities so that there is little room for themselves or their walk with God.
However, work is a significant part of our lives and we must never play down its importance. To a real extent it defines our social identity and articulates our gifts and talents. When we enjoy our work and do it well then it contributes to rest making it a joyful time. Rest is intended to be the blessing that results from work well done. Rest is not doing nothing, but rather love realised in the presence of God. It is a time of remembrance and thanksgiving after the work is finished. Jacques Ellul writes. “The blessing of rest [or sabbath] can only follow the joy and challenge of meaningful work.” Likewise, renewal results from both rest and thanksgiving. Ellul reminds us that, “. . . the Sabbath is a gift of God to remind us that we are not constantly under the burden . . . toil.” He further states that, “Life is a rhythm of work and rest, engagement and withdrawal, action and reflection.” Rest, withdrawal and reflection in the presence of God is vital for it is a place of renewal and transformation. It is where we lay aside our own plans and discover God’s. it is where we confess our sins and cravings, where we discern new directions, and where, more significantly, we find a new and transformed self.