A counseling professor said you can’t take someone further than you’ve gone. Words backed by experience resonate. In other words, are we practicing what we preach?
God mentored the first couple by working and resting with them. He modeled the balance between work and rest.
Rest may feel like an obstacle to achievement, but in reality, it demonstrates faith and clarifies thinking. Author Cecil Murphey says the more he researched healthy living and longevity, “the more evidence I found that pointed to the fact that those who relaxed for twenty-four hours every seven days actually became more productive and experienced greater pleasure during the other six days.”
Is it any wonder that spiritual forces try to keep us from biblical rest? Genesis 2:3 says, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested….” God sanctified (set apart) the seventh day because He rested on it.
Thousands of years before God gave the Ten Commandments, He set apart one day out of seven for rest. [easy-tweet tweet=”Rest is holy, and work is good. From the beginning, God’s perfect plan included both. ” user=”@JaymeHull” hashtags=”#resting”]Notice the first couple’s responsibilities before sin entered the world.
- Raise a family and rule the world! “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground’ ” (Genesis 1:27-28).
- Tend a garden“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).
- Name the animals“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals” (Genesis 2:19-20).
Working and Resting with God
Talk about a lot of responsibility. The first couple managed a zoo, aquarium, farm, and botanical garden. God also charged them to rear a family.
Yet they were not overwhelmed.
God created Adam on the sixth day and introduced him to his vocation. Together, they went to work. Imagine the fun they shared as Adam dreamed up names for every type of animal and bird God brought him. “I’ll call the striped one zebra and that fellow with the funny nose a rhinoceros.”
Adam and Eve knew who owned the enterprise. They knew their Creator was their Provider. He supplied everything the couple needed to prosper, including wisdom, strength, and sunshine. He prepared every detail for their prosperity. In fact, rest was part of His formula for success.
On Adam and Eve’s second day, God rested with them. In their first two days of life, God showed them how to work and rest with Him.
Sadly, humankind’s fall into sin marred this relationship and brought a curse on the earth.
But Christ came to restore our relationship with God and each other. One day, He’ll remove the curse from the earth (Rom. 8:21). But even now, because of Christ, we can work and rest with God again.
Question: How might working and resting with God, even when nobody’s looking, empower your mentoring?
Adapted from: Give Yourself a Break.
About the Author:
 Cecil Murphey, Making Sense When Life Doesn’t (Minneapolis 55337, Summerside Press, 2012), p. 30