The need for rest is a fact of life in all God’s creation. After a long summer, the trees shed their leaves and rest throughout the winter until the Spring comes again. Animals build a place to rest. In particular, the bear goes into hibernation as do many other animals. These creations of nature seem to have been given a time-clock that makes them listen and do what God intended.
Why would a human not know that rest is all important for his/her well being? Here are some of the health benefits of general rest:
1. Improved Memory – Lack of sleep can make it difficult for you to concentrate and retain information. When you sleep, your brain goes through all the activities and impressions of the day which is important for memory formation.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight – Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same area of the brain. Sleep releases hormones that control appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat.
3. Heart Health – A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
4. Reduce Stress – Sleep and stress have similar effects on your cardiovascular stress. Being well rested can reduce stress levels and improve your overall health. (from Florida Hospital site)
Another scripture also tells us, “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 We cannot be still unless we actually stop what we are doing. That takes a concerted effort:
- Putting down the phone
- Turning off the TV/ Computer
- Moving to a quieter spot
- Stop thinking about what you need to do next
One may ask, then what do I do?
- Just listen…to a bird singing outside, to a quiet music selection
- Talk quietly to God and then listen to what comes into your mind as His Spirit speaks to yours
- Take a walk alone…even if it is just around your yard
- Put your feet in the sand at the beach and listen to ocean slap upon the shore
- Look for a flower, a leaf, and small insect or butterfly
- Concentrate on quieting your spirit and your inner-self
- Watch a sunrise or sunset
” The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
So how does one rest when things are falling apart or life is too difficult to bear? We remember, with the choir of Libera, how difficult are the memories of the Holocaust or 9-11 and so much more. Yet we are promised a restful soul through God’s grace. It is following the courage that is put in the heart by God through every circumstance.