By Hannah Kessler, Partnership Coordinator

Rest. Sometimes this word seems foreign and dirty. We shy away from it, at least publicly. But as Christ followers, we more than anyone, should learn how to rest. Because we can.

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Hebrew people were enslaved in Egypt. But the entirety of the book is not based on their enslavement. It’s called Exodus for a reason. Its focus is on God leading his people away from this slavery. It is here that God’s faithfulness is put on display. It is the identity shaping act, where God calls his people to Himself- and away from Egypt.

“So what was Egypt like, again?

It was bricks — more bricks, all day, everyday. It was work, work, work, an infatuation with the bottom line, with no restraints on how to get there (Exodus 5:4–9). It was about production, not flourishing; strict commerce, not neighborly love;  the commodity of idols, not the imaging of God. In other words, it was a world in opposition to humanity’s purpose — and one not too unlike sectors of our society today.

As I have been anticipating the quickly approaching summer, I’ve been thinking more and more about this rest. You see, when we don’t rest, what we are saying is that we can’t afford to rest. We have the false idea that we must be in charge and we are the ones keeping things going. As Christians we do not work to rest, we rest to work. While the rest of the world is working for the weekend, we rest in Jesus’ word, presence and hope.

From this we are able to work.

He speaks and it comes to be, out of nothing. He does all of this in six days, and rests on the seventh… just because He can.

“He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4

“He wants us to know, right from the start and in the rhythms of our lives, that he doesn’t need anything. He is the one who works in perfect precision, neither too little nor too much, and we exist to bask in His glory, not barter for its increase. We exist to magnify His radiance, not supplement His worth.”

Next Step Ministries