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Rhythm of Rest

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It turns out mom was right!

As I’ve matured, I’ve come to that realization repeatedly. How about you? As it turns out, it really does save time to do something right the first time. We absolutely should be kind to others. And... we can’t keep burning the candle at both ends—at least, not forever.  

That last one is what popped into my mind as I was reading Numbers 29. Now, I’m the first to admit that I groan a little (forgive me, Lord) when anything from the book of Numbers is in my Bible reading for the day. Today, though, the Lord grabbed my attention and admonished me to truly listen to His Word.

“On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.” (Numbers 29:1 NIV)

As I continued to read through the biblical instruction to Israel about sacred feast days, I was impressed with the many occasions when regular work was to be set aside, in addition to a Sabbath every week. It’s as if the Lord knew that His creation would continually fall into the trap of overworking, overextending, and fatiguing ourselves!

The Lord prescribed a rhythm of rest, celebration, recharge… a reboot for His people! If His people are obedient, that obedience brings regular time with the Lord, plus rest for muscles, minds and hearts. Rest isn’t just sleep. It’s taking a real break, moving muscles that are stiff from being in front of a computer screen, getting quiet with the Lord, abstaining from “regular work” for a bit. Such rest often brings new perspective, new commitment to a calling, and fresh anointing for our purpose.

Jesus exemplified this in His ministry, often going to solitary places to pray.

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. (Mark 9:2)

If the Son of God needed to follow a rhythm of rest, how much more do we? If Jesus needed the encouragement from His Father, certainly we need it even more!

God’s desire that His people understand the importance of a rhythm of rest is unchanged. The Lord still prescribes rest. There is joy, strength, balance, and refreshing waiting for us! So how do we get there?

When my mom tried to teach me that I couldn’t keep burning the candle at both ends, I was a high school student involved in way too many activities. She followed her statement with, “Or I’ll just take your car keys away!” That gets a 16-year old’s attention! As adults, our minds and bodies begin to command attention in ways that we can’t ignore. We need to build a rhythm of rest into our lives. I like to start with some dedicated prayer time with the Lord, asking Him to help me reset boundaries for rest. How will you start?

Father, thank You for ordering a rhythm of rest in Your Word. Thank You, Jesus, that You showed us how to follow it in Your time on earth! We confess that we are often tired, and ignore our need for rest and recharge, our need for quiet time away from our normal duties, to hear from You and be encouraged by the Holy Spirit. Would You help us hear Your voice about how to keep Your rhythm of rest in our lives? Would You then help us obey what You speak to us? We are so grateful to You, Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.


Scripture is quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. 

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About The Author

Tracy Swager

Tracy loves working as a CBN's Prayer Center leader from her Tennessee home. She's a pastor's wife who finds fun in reading, hiking in the mountains, and teaching lively group fitness.

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