According to the most reliable of sources, Wikipedia, “Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.” Over the years, Labor Day, like most other three-day weekends, has become one of the few times a year that many people actually take time to relax.
We definitely live in a world that values productivity and action over rest and health. And as a military spouse, you’re often the only adult around to get things done for your family, so time for sleep and rest go out the window.
And yet, God made sleep and rest essential to our physical and spiritual health. Long-term lack of sleep can cause a myriad of health problems from heart disease to weight gain. It can also cloud your judgment and (if it goes on for long enough) cause hallucinations. God cared so much about our need for rest that He created us so that we couldn’t live without it.
He also lovingly made it a command for us in the Bible.
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21 ESV)God cared so much about our need for rest that He created us so that we couldn't live without it.Click To Tweet
And He even set the example for us Himself.
“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)
Resting and celebrating your labors is not a new idea. And yet, we are still so tempted to shrug God’s command off, pull all-nighters, and choose work when we really need rest. We make it something that’s special and reserved for the rare three-day weekend, rather than a regular part of our routines.
In those moments when we choose to disobey God’s design for rest, our choice is often rooted in our belief that we are completely responsible for our own provision in accomplishing all our tasks … in other words, we don’t really think everything will be okay in God’s hands if we don’t work hard enough.
But Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV) gives us a beautiful, albeit harsh, reality check.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
God is the builder of our lives. He is the watchman of our nights. Our work is important in as much as it serves Him, but it can’t serve Him and disobey Him all at once. No matter what efforts we make in raising our children or building our careers, they will come to nothing if we don’t rely on God’s provision and sovereignty. And in His sovereignty, He wants to give you every kind of rest. Why? Because YOU are His beloved.God is the builder of our lives. He is the watchman of our nights. Click To Tweet
God’s desire for us to rest is undeniable, which means that there is nothing so important that we cannot make time for it in our lives. Every weekend may not be a three-day weekend, but God wants it to include rest regardless.
Don’t take work home on the weekend. Don’t book your kids into nonstop activities that keep them (and you) running all weekend long. Don’t use every naptime to clean the house or do the laundry when you didn’t sleep all night. Trust God’s loving design for you and make time for rest every week — not just on Labor Day weekend.