The other night I had a dream. It is kind of embarrassing actually. I dreamt I was so busy running around that the only time I had to sit still and be quiet was when I was, ahem, about to use the bathroom. People realized that this was the only time I had to myself, so they would seek me out at this normally solitary moment. Even my pastor came looking for me, trying to share a verse he felt I needed to read. Ever ready to read, I pulled out my Bible and read Exodus 20:10, proclaiming, after I was finished reading, that this verse was salvation.
Of course, I don’t often dream. True to my dream, I am always running around trying to fit this and that into my schedule. I reflected on this and my dream as I looked at a picture of my schedule, proud of myself that I have such a full life. That is, I was proud of it until one of my relatives saw the schedule and commented, “Where’s the “rest”?” Thinking my dream and my cousin were on to something, I decided to look up the verse in my dream and I realized it was for me, and other busy women:
“But the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.”
I read my Bible daily, sometimes as I’m brushing my hair, sometimes I listen to the audio version while I’m in my car, but recently it occurred to me, I don’t rest for myself, and I also don’t rest with God. Sure I attend church services on the weekends, and Wednesday nights, and I’m part of an evening Bible study with women. I’ve fed the homeless, prayed for prostitutes, and babysat for single mothers. But rest? To take a whole day and to nothing for God’s glory? How does that please the Lord? I can really identify with Martha of Luke 10:38-42:
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’ But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
Why is it so hard to rest? I’ve dreamt before on numerous occasions that I was sleeping! I know the reasons, one of which is fear. I know that I am saved by grace, and I know that other busy women also know this. But the dishes need to be washed, the clothes need to be ironed, and if we don’t get involved in fifty different ministries, then we aren’t as good a Christian as the woman down the block, and we fear the frown of God and other Christians.
I’m learning something through learning how to rest: I’m learning to say no, and to not worry about the frown of others. I’m learning God wants us to rest, and rest in Him. Because when we take one day off a week just to rest, we bring God glory.
What I love about God is that He not only tells us to rest in Exodus 20, but in Genesis 2 He gives us the example of resting. And if it’s good enough for God, shouldn’t it be good enough for us?