In this week’s blog and podcast episode from the Rule of Life Series, I talk about resting in freedom as we understand God’s design for rest. I also explore why we can rest, and how we can rest as busy mamas.
Listen in to the episode below. 🙂
Now for the article! In this blog post, we’re going to explore three areas about resting in freedom:
- what God’s design for rest is
- why God invites us to rest
- how we can rest as busy mamas
What is God’s design for rest?
God designed us to rest, a fact that is clear in the creation account.
God made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). God didn’t need to rest. He chose to rest. Not because work was bad, but because rest was good.
So we see that rest is imbedded in the very fabric of God’s good creation, and it is not a consequence of the fall.
What did result from the fall of man was actually toilsome work.
Nevertheless, in His grace, God commanded His chosen people to observe the Sabbath. This command, although it may seem harsh and heavy, was actually a wonderful invitation from the Creator to His people to remember to rest in Him. (Exodus 20:8)
You see, the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt. They had experienced no rest for 400 years.
But when God set them free, He called them to remember the Sabbath. Essentially, the Sabbath was a reminder of their freedom from slavery and their allegiance to the God who blessed the seventh day and made it holy. (Genesis 2:3)
So, in the Sabbath, God’s people could finally enjoy resting in freedom from slavery.
Why does God invite us to rest in freedom?
While we’re not Israelites, we are God’s people and we were made in His image.
And just like the Israelites were rescued from slavery to the Egyptians, we too have been rescued from slavery. We’ve been rescued from slavery to sin.
By celebrating a Sabbath rest we show the world that we are not slaves. We’re not slaves to work. We’re not slaves to consumerism. We’re not slaves to self.
Not only that, but by resting from our work, we foreshadow the day we will enter eternal rest with the King of Kings.
So the next question is…
How can we rest in freedom?
One common question in relation to this area of rest is: but how can I actually rest as a busy mama?
The first thing I want to suggest is that rest does not happen without planning. Paradoxical as that may sound!
We actually need to plan for it and prepare for it. So the first thing we need to do is to carve out time. Here we’re going to look at three time units: day, week, and every quarter.
So first, let’s carve out some time every day to rest and get enough sleep. This could be planning a time to have a nap every day if you have newborns, or it could be going to bed earlier if you have older children. It is also often helpful to do something relaxing before bed (not scrolling social media!) so block out an hour before bed at night to rest too.
In terms of weekly rest, the best way we can carve out time is to observe a Sabbath day of rest. What this means is that we carve out one day a week to: stop our work (and that includes errands, housework and schoolwork), rest (by turning to God and doing life-giving activities), and delight in the Giver of Life.
Then once a quarter, it’s often helpful to take some days off work and change routine. This could be a vacation or it could be simply a few days at home away from everyday responsibilities.
Rest is part of God’s good design for creation, and when we rest, we are both imaging God and obeying His life-giving commandment. Rest is also a means of showing we are no longer slaves to sin, rather we trust in the God who sustains the universe.