Work and Rest

Your dad and I are about to enjoy a week of down time — vacation! In Europe, we would most likely be having a mini-sabbatical, for their “holiday” time is much longer than ours here in America. Nonetheless, we will enjoy a week of rest. I trust each of you — Jonathan, Peter, Olivia, Belle, and Summer — will see the value of rest as you live out the value of work. If there is one thing I hope you learned from watching your father and I working, it is this: work is a gift from God, not a curse from Satan. Retirement should not be about stopping work; it is more about choosing your work and your schedule. Vacation is not the reward from hard-fought work; it is the preparation to be able to work in a healthy and productive way. How do I know this? Genesis tells us.

God’s day of rest was our first day of living. God had Adam and Eve rest on their first day with Him, and then He tasked Adam and Eve with work around the garden. Both the rest and the work were in place well before the curse. I wish I knew what Adam, Eve, and God did during their restful time. I’m sure Adam and Eve had plenty of questions to ask God. But this I do know…God didn’t “need” to rest at all. According to Isaiah 40, God neither tires nor needs to sleep. His almighty power is never extinguished or reduced from weariness so that has us concluding that the day of rest was put in place for our benefit and example. It may also be a reminder that “rest” isn’t just about physical rest; it is just as much about spiritual, emotional, and mental rejuvenation.

In conclusion, rest well so you can work hard. Don’t have the mindset to work hard so you can rest well. Rest so you can work. The work will be demanding, and you will find yourself looking forward to the rest. That is okay. That is expected and natural. But get the order right — rest to work, not work to rest — and you will find yourself following God’s value paradigm.

My prayer is that all my children will not shy from a day of hard work whether that work involves physical, relational, emotional, mental, spiritual, familial, community, church body, parenting, stewardship, or personal development labor. But as valuable as work is, God set the example of rest so we are ready to do the work He has called us to do.

I love you all. MOM

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