Leonid Padun: "Time to rest"

Rest is God’s commandment

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God“ (Exodus 20:8-10).

Almost everyone had to deal with irritability, emotional breakdowns or depression. But we should know that most of above-mentioned can be avoided if we do not forget the most important commandment of God – to rest.

We must work to provide for ourselves and our families, but there is a limit to everything. Sometimes you may hear people boast that they work without days off and vacations, but the Bible says that this is not the merit and virtue, but derision and mockery of man.

Being moved by the Holy Spirit, the prophet Jeremiah prayed: “Remember, O LORD, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace… Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest“ (Lamentations 5:1,5).

God does not pursue us being at our heels. He Who is the Creator of all, has worked for six days and made the seventh one the day of rest: “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (Genesis 2:3).

The word “blessing” in the Bible is always associated with an expression of joy and positive emotions. From the abundance of the heart people bless each other, expressing the sincere admiration. God liked the day of rest! And if He has blessed this day and sanctified (set apart) it, it does not seem so bad? Maybe we should listen to the Word of God and enjoy the time devoted to rest?

We do not make an idol out of a particular day. “Sabbath”, as referred to in the commandment, comes from the Hebrew “Shabbat”, that is peace and rest. There are certain traditions or historical features and someone is resting on Saturday, others on Sunday or Monday, but that’s not the point. The essence of the commandment is to take some time for rest in our busy schedule.

Also, when we say “Sabbath to the LORD your God”, we are talking about serving God. And this serving is to do nothing: “On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates” (Exodus 20:10).

It may not fit in our minds, accustomed to the different stereotypes, but it’s actually true. At the day off we should do something important and that is nothing. Give a rest to yourself and others!

Dangerous “Amalekites”

“Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God” (Deuteronomy 25:17-18).

When the Israelites came out of Egypt and were going to the Promised Land, there were also tired and weak people among them. And the Amalekites attacked them from behind, stealthily striking weak and tired people who were not able to resist and defend themselves.

Amalekites are an image of tiredness, which is our enemy. Never accept tiredness as the norm. If we do not overcome tiredness, it will overcome us.

Busyness may lead to tiredness, but any work that leads to the mortal fatigue is caused by some “prey”. When God told Saul to strike the Amalekites and all their possessions, Saul decided to keep the most valuable things, neglecting God’s commandment.

How often do people ignore God’s commandment of rest for the money, working day and night, but sooner or later they have to pay a price by their physical health, mental rest, and perhaps even salvation.

Do not let the “Amalekites” ruin your life prematurely. It is important to choose a pace of life that lasted for fifty years ahead, because God never pushes us in the back. If you have chronic fatigue, it is time to give the alarm!

Consequences of tiredness

1. Apathy.

When you’re tired, you have no desire to do anything whatsoever, and you don’t care what is happening around.

2. Vulnerability.

Short temper, irritability and even anger often occur not because we are negative people with bad character, but because we are just tired and don’t want to be bothered. This does not justify the irritation, but explains the behavior and the state in which we sometimes find ourselves.

Also, tired person is more vulnerable to sin.

3. Disorientation.

Being tired we are unable to size up a situation. Tired person is a candidate for making mistakes and taking wrong decisions.

4. “Syndrome of powder keg”.

Lingering fatigue causes a serious “explosion hazard”. No matter how spiritual we are and how many victories have been in our lives, but if we are tired for a long time, we are sitting at the “powder keg” that could explode at any moment.

How to fight against tiredness

Tiredness may be of different types and it is important to fight against it with the proper “weapons”.

1. Physical tiredness.

Physical tiredness is the most common one. To get rid of it, you need a good rest from physical activity. It is enough just to have a good night’s sleep and in the morning you’re already quite fit and fresh. It’s also good just to lie down doing nothing in the afternoon. Do not burden your weekends with some kind of worries, responsibilities or the decision of global problems.

2. Mental or emotional tiredness.

There are different kinds of work. Some people works physically, but someone is engaged in mental work and tired in his own way. Emotional tiredness can also cause dissatisfaction of mental needs, such as loneliness, lack of communication, monotonous life style, etc.

The body responds quickly to the needs and it is easier to fill them, but the soul is very patient. It accumulates tiredness slowly but surely, and sooner or later it can cause a nervous breakdown and other disorders.

Healthy sleep is important to restore the emotional as well as physical strength. But the soul needs another kind of rest. This may be a change of activity or scenery. If every day we are surrounded by the same things and persons, the same landscape or interior, we get tired of it. We were created by God – the Creator of the Universe and we have a need for something new. Therefore it is important from time to time to change the usual situation, to make the trips, etc.

Also, the soul needs communication with friends, nice music, good movies, beautiful pictures and interesting books.

It is important to devote enough time to fill our spiritual needs and ask ourselves: what we want to do? We used to do everything for someone: husband, wife, children. But each of us has a favorite pastime, a hobby: fishing, writing music, poetry, painting, knitting, etc. We must have time for such a rest and it is important not to allow some kind of a false conviction to deprive ourselves of this.

3. Spiritual tiredness.

There is such a kind of fatigue as spiritual tiredness, when a person does not read the Bible, does not communicate with God and lives in sin. Sin is the heaviest and most tiring burden. Many people live in constant tiredness not due to physical or mental work and emotional stress, but because of sin. Young people are especially vulnerable to this. It would seem that they should be full of energy, but the Bible says that “even youths grow tired and weary”. Sin makes people tired. If there is no communion with God, no matter how much time lasts your vacation or whatever islands you rest on, it will not help.

The most powerful and effective rest for the spirit is worship, reading of the Bible and prayer, when we are in a personal, intimate fellowship with God, who always wants to refresh and encourage us. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

It is important to fight against tiredness in all areas. If we learn to fully relax the spirit, soul and body, then “Amalekites” will be affected in our lives.

As far as we are well rested, so qualitatively we can work. Rested and full of strength we can move forward to fulfill God’s calling!