“[The Lord] grants sleep to those He loves.” Psalm 127:2 (NIV)
We rarely think of rest as a crucial part of our fitness regiment … but it is. Built into the fabric of every aspect of ourselves is the need to rest, and that includes our health.
Weight trainers know that they need to rest a muscle group for one to two days before they work that same muscle group again. The muscles need time to rest and to heal before they can be worked again effectively. (See discussion of muscle growth in August, 17, 2014 entry). Runners know that after a long race (and the season of training preceding it), their body needs to rest and recover before they should compete again. Training always needs to be balanced with rest.
Other parts of our body operate similarly. After long periods of study or problem-solving, our minds need a break — it need a rest from that activity. When we are sick or overextended, sometimes the best thing we can do is literally take a nap! (Even God rested on the seventh day after six days of creating! See Genesis 2.)
And so it is with our souls. Sometimes we are doing some heavy-lifting in our souls. Sometimes we are in marathon-seasons of our life. Sometimes, especially at those times, we desperately need to be replenished and restored. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
Are you getting enough rest?