Resting as a Spiritual Practice

Forward Day by Day, Hebrews 4:9-10, Sabbath

Hebrews 4:9-10. “So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God;
for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.”

I have come to the conclusion that I don’t rest well. I occasionally take breaks during the day, and I sleep well at night, but I don’t often rest. When I think I am resting, it’s probably not what the author of Hebrews means by rest. My rest is usually a consequence of being sick or worn out, an attempt to escape life, or for the purpose of preparing to return to work.

I am pretty sure that’s not how or why God rested on the seventh day—as a means to some other end. Was God really so tired that God had to rest a bit? Was God getting ready for the next day?

God’s rest is not the opposite of work. The rest God offers us (and models in creation) gives our work meaning, just as silence between musical notes gives music meaning. Rest is about balance, harmony, and order—a way of being that reminds me that I am not defined or measured by productivity and accomplishments.

What does it mean for you to rest? What place does rest have in your life?

*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.

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