creation - starry night - created for rest

Rethinking Rest

July 14, 2022
matz - staff pic - march 2022
Alyssa Matz

I can still see it… my Sunday School teacher sharing one of my favorite Bible stories — the story of Creation. Using the familiar felt flannel board and characters she showed what God formed on each day. She started with dark and light, moved on to sky and water, then eventually to birds, fish, animals, and finally, people. We all know what comes next… on the 7th day, God rested.

This is a story that many longtime churchgoers could likely repeat in their sleep. But what if there’s more to this story than God making the whole world and then taking a holy nap on the 7th day of the week? What if the story of Creation reveals something much deeper about God’s design for our lives than taking a day off from work?

What if there is more to this story of rest than we think?

A Matter of Perspective

We usually find the application about rest in the Creation story by looking at the perspective of God. He creates the entire universe in 6 days and then He rests. So… work hard for 6 days, then take the 7th off just like God, right?

But what if we look at the story from the human perspective? After all, we are the creation, not the Creator. So as God’s creation, what does He reveal to us from the very moment humanity began?

First, we know God created Adam and Eve on Day 6 and then gave a few commands: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)

What if there is more to this story of rest than we think?

That’s a huge task! Rule the earth, care for animals, and multiply in number — not an easy job at all, and with no precedent to follow!

If we were assigned a monumental task like that, we’d likely jump right in early the next day and get working. We’d make our lists and start sending our emails, maybe even work on budget plans or create a marketing campaign with a catchy name. We’d rush to work and try to finish as efficiently as we could. After all, “time is money, people!”

But notice this. Instead of jumping right into their assigned tasks when they wake up the next morning, Adam and Eve’s first full day of existence is the 7th day – the day of rest. The Sabbath. God’s 7th day of creation was their 1st.

God Is Intentional About Rest

Looking at the Creation story through this lens has caused me to consider these questions:

  • What if I was created to work from rest, and not towards it?
  • What if rest isn’t a reward to earn, but a gift freely given?
  • What if God is more concerned about me resting in Him than doing for Him?

Something I know about God is that He is intentional. He intended Adam and Eve’s first day on earth to be a Sabbath.

I believe He wants us to see that we should approach work from a place of rest in Him. We should enjoy that rest as a gift we don’t have to earn. And we should know that communing with God is much more important than any task that we could ever perform.

If we adopt this mindset, our rest can change dramatically. We can avoid experiencing burnout, restlessness, or overworking. We don’t even need to “work for the weekend.” We can rest the way God intended — fully, healthily, joyfully. We can live within God’s design for us. He created us for rest.

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Mark 2:27

About The Author

matz - staff pic - march 2022
Alyssa Matz

Alyssa Matz is Browncroft’s Family Ministry Coordinator. A graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College, she loves using her spiritual gifts to serve others. Alyssa is a familiar face in Browncroft Kids and Students videos, and when she isn’t at church, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, hiking, and a good chai latte.

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