“Rest and Be Thankful” —Henry Wadsworth

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

—Hebrews 4:10-11

Genesis 2:2 says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Even God who created the heavens and the Earth, and all the creatures of the land, air, and sea still rested when He finished the creation. If God can rest, then we should also find time to rest in our get-up-and-go culture where we far too often neglect taking time to rest. How can we be people that are filled with the fruits of the spirit if we are stretched thin and just plain tired? If we are too tired and exhausted, will we notice when someone is in need? Will we be able to help if we are weary and heavy-laden? If we don’t care for ourselves, how can we help others when they need us.

Are you well-rested? We can enter marathons of work, projects, and even emotional hardships. We may feel invincible at times and take on more than our bodies can handle. But remember that God made us in His image and we should rest just like He did. Firmly set aside a day or two after an intense period of work to replenish yourself. Prioritize rest in your routine. Rest is necessary to be people of salt and light. In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

We need our rest to be the salt and light and have meaning in our lives. We may exhaust ourselves trying to help everyone or do too much, but in the end, if we burn ourselves out, we will not be any good to anyone. We will have lost our flavor. Likewise, if we exhaust our light by burning the candle on both ends, we only cause the light to extinguish too soon. If we take time to rest, then we can be more useful and helpful in doing God’s work. We need our rest, and we can’t do it all. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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