Work or Rest?

Work or rest?  These are 2 choices that we have to make each day. When there’s that long list of to-dos it becomes very easy to choose work over rest. So how do we get a healthy balance of both? How do we prevent ourselves from choosing one more than the other?

My definition of “resting” is working. From college until now, I have always chosen work over rest. I work almost 247 and could say that my hobby is working. But there are days when my work finally catches up to me, and God tells me it’s time to push pause.

But I can’t.

Resting from my work causes me to stress and feel guilty that I could have used this time to be more productive. The times when I do relax, my mind always planning and scheduling how I will take on my upcoming tasks. Whether it’s for my work, blog, or ministry, I just couldn’t seem to find a way to truly rest.

I finally reached a point when weariness started to creep in and it was in that moment when God reminded me that resting was a part of his plan and a gift for all of us.

We were never made to be in bondage to work, but to walk in the freedom that comes only through Christ. 

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We were never made to carry all the burdens of this world – that’s God’s job. More work is never the solution. Take your burdens to God and trust that he knows what we need and how to get it done.

God is most capable of establishing our plans. Even when we are resting, God is still working. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

I somehow ran into a book written by a Christian author called “Doing Busy Better”. In that book, I was challenged to ask God what really drove my desire to always work. I’ve always thought I was a workaholic because I was just an ambitious person. But after asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what truly drove my restless working days, I realized that my motives to work myself so hard were my need to prove myself.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past and choices that made people look down on me. Without me realizing, I relied on my work and accomplishments to prove to others that I wasn’t a mess up, but that I was worthy and good enough.

But God reminded me that my identity wasn’t in the things I do, but who I am through Christ. I am chosen, loved, and a child of God. Maybe you also need that reminder today.

You are chosen, loved, and a child of God.

No matter what you’ve done or what you will do, God loves you just the same. God chose to sacrifice his son Jesus even when we were a sinner and not worthy of him. God doesn’t need us to prove ourselves worthy because his love for us is greater than anything we could ever offer.  Romans 5:6-8 says “..when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We don’t need our work or accomplishments to define who we are. God has already called us worthy and loved. We can’t rely on our work to be the source of who we are because once we lose our work or fail, we lose ourselves. But when our foundation for our identity and value is in Christ, we will never be shaken. When our identity is in Christ, we have firm ground to stand upon.

Whatever season you are in today, know that God loves you. He does not love you more or less for what you have done but simply loves you for who you are because he created you. God is your maker, your father, your lover. Will you choose to surrender your life to him? Will you choose to rest in his love and who you are in Christ?

God has given us the gift of work and rest – to enjoy working and to enjoy resting. All of that can only come when we know who we are in Christ and when we give our burdens to him. God is always in control and he doesn’t need us constantly working. So remember, work and rest.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that I can rest knowing you’re always working in my life.

 

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