Posted by: Brian Musser | May 15, 2014

God Rests

Work-Ship – Week Six:  The Limits of Work – Day Thirty-Six:  God Rests

We have spent five weeks elevating work to the extreme.  Work is a divine task.  God does it.  When we work we are doing what God has created, commanded and designed us to do.  When work the image of God is on display through us.  When we work we are working within our God-given context and community.  Our work can produce worship within us and others.  WORK IS GOOD!

But this goodness of work produces its own problems.  Because work is so good we often feel as if we have to justify not working.  Some of us push ourselves until the limit of our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual resources, exhausting ourselves to the point of collapse.  Some of us are not as forceful in our striving to work.  We find ourselves with a persistent sense of guilt and a continual internal conversation justifying our lack of activity.  We live under the assumption that since work is good then the opposite of work must be bad.  Not working should be avoided at all means except when absolutely necessary.

But then we are confronted with Scripture again.  We see in Genesis 2: 2-3 a God who rests.

Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

God Rests!  By resting God makes the statement that rest is not bad.  Rest is not the necessary evil that we believe it to be.  But it goes deeper than that.  When we consider the question “Why did God rest?” we are forced to the conclusion that rest is not only not bad but rest must be good.  Often we rest because we have to.  We rest because we can not work anymore.  We are exhausted.  We rest because we have no more work to do.  Sometimes we rest in avoidance of the work we should be doing.  Other times we rest because we are unable to work due to economics or disability.  These are not legitimate reasons for God to rest.  God never tires.  God doesn’t accidentally run out of things to do.  God never avoids work.  God is never unemployed or disabled.  The only reason for God to rest is that God wanted to.  For God to rest because He wanted to means that rest was the perfect thing for God to be doing at that moment.

There are times when rest is what we should be doing.  Rest is good and it is good to rest.  When God works, God demonstrates that work can be holy.  When God rests, God shows that rest can be holy.

Just as we can let the image of God be on display through us as we work, it can also be seen as we rest.  Work can be worship.  Rest can be worship.

Do you wait to rest until you absolutely have to?  Do you feel guilty when you?  What is one habit that you could develop to allow yourself to rest better?

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