“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).

Walter Brueggemann in his book, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now,” makes a great statement about God resting. He says, “Divine rest on the seventh day of creation has made clear (a) that YHWH is no a workaholic, (b) that YHWH is not anxious about the full functioning of creation, and (c) that the well-being of creation does not depend on endless work. (p.6)”

When Rest Feels Like Work

Rest, to many of us, is exhausting—which sounds very contradictory. When we try to find time to pray, read our Bible, fellowship with believers, or attend church we can feel overwhelmed.

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.

“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. Take time out of your day and experience what true rest feels like; it’s gentle, humble in heart, and light.


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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