The Gift of Rest
Read Psalm 4:1-8
Many say that God will never help us. Prove them wrong, O Lord, by letting the light of your face shine down upon us. Yes, the gladness you have given me is far greater than their joys at harvest time as they gaze at their bountiful crops. I will lie down I peace and sleep, for though I am alone, O Lord, you will keep me safe. Psalm 4:6-8 (TLB)
Andrew Sulgit, from West Virginia, frequently falls asleep while praying. He used to feel guilty, but he has decided to look at it a different way.
His job demands that he be on call 24 hours a day, every day of he year. He could be at home making dinner or on vacation when he receives a work-related call, text, or email. This constant connection to the workplace can have long-term effects and often leads to exhaustion. At the end of a hectic day, bedtime prayer can be a way to decompress, discuss the day's challenges with God, and enter into a time of rest and refection.
So instead of feeling guilty, Andrew has decided to embrace the blessing that rest can be. Rest has many benefits for physical, mental, and spiritual health. Jesus took time away from the crowds and his followers to find needed rest.
Just as hard work honors God, so do our times of rest. Words from Psalm 23 tell us that God wants us to enjoy quiet moments: "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides still waters, he restores my soul" (vs.2-3). Let's not feel guilty when rest presents itself but recognize it for the spiritual gift that it is.
Prayer: Dear God, lead us to adopt the model that Jesus set for us. Help us to seek physical, mental, and spiritual rest and to welcome your restoration of our souls, in Jesus' name. Amen.