“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11

God doesn’t just suggest or encourage rest, He commands us to rest (Exodus 20:8–11) and He led by example (Genesis 2:1–3; Exodus 20:11). From the beginning of the word of God we learn that God is not a workaholic. Rather, He leads by example  and encourages rest and restoration.

When Rest Feels Like Work

Rest, for many of us, is exhausting—which is an oxymoron. When we try to find time to pray, read our Bible, fellowship with believers, or attend church we can feel overwhelmed. My husband and I are about to move and I haven’t had much time to catch my breath. Tomorrow, which is today for all of you :), I am planning on having a day of quality time with my daughter and quality time with the Lord. My spirit is longing to spend more time in His presence and more time in His word. I am desperate for more.

Thinking of everything we have to do diminishes the importance of things we are commanded to do.

It’s important to recalibrate in those moments and remember that just because we can be busy, doesn’t mean we should be. Finishing your to-do list is not a demand given by God, but resting and spending quality time in His presence is a commandment.

For some reason, October has become such a busy month; not just for me, but a lot of people I have been talking with tell me they are overwhelmed. Sometimes we have to come to the place when we understand that there will always be things to do and we have to make a conscience effort to do what is most important; spend time with the Lord and take part in Sabbath.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30. 

Jesus, in the above scriptures, encapsulates rest and demonstrates that He is Sabbath—all we have to do is go to Him. Today, give Jesus your weariness, your exhaustion, the pressure you feel to be more and do more, and rest in His presence.

Our world is in a position of unrest, but the way we respond to the media, fear, and anxiety is a representation of what is in our hearts. It is His grace that shows us the areas we need to grow, not His chastisement.

I will choose to rest in this day of unrest and worldly uncertainty. God is already in our tomorrow’s and will be in our years to come as well. Follow the pattern of rest today and experience gentleness and lightness in your spirit.


Angela Overton is a lover of words, nature, and coffee. She is an ordained minister with the UPCI, has a Masters Degree in Theology, and loves to teach Bible studies. She and her amazing husband, Michael, pastor in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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