God has set an example for us in regard to rest. Rest has been built into our very own bodies, by the hand of God. Each organ of the body is designed to rest. We breathe in and then rest as we exhale and pause until the next breath. The heart pumps blood throughout the body, and then rests as it refills with blood. The stomach digests food, sends it into the small intestine and then rests while it waits for the next meal.
The principle of rest is found in the Bible in the weekly rest: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work, which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1–3.
The disciples were commanded to rest after working intently for some period of time. “And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Mark 6:31.
The human machinery can experience many problems if it is deprived of adequate amounts and proper rest and sleep to refresh both the body and mind. A lack of or improper rest/sleep can often cause headache, irritability, increased risk of accidents, memory loss, emotional instability, decreased motor skills, impaired immune system, and decreased ability to learn. This is not an inclusive list, but just some of the problems that can be experienced due to rest/sleep deprivation.
Knowing the problems that can occur due to lack of or improper rest, it is important to learn about the different types of rest necessary to promote health. There are four types of rest or rest vitamins.
Recreation—Note that recreation should be re-creation and not wreck-reation.
Meditation and Prayer—Partaking of this type of rest puts us at rest or peace with both God and our fellow man, resulting in freedom from the guilt, which robs the body of rest.
The Sabbath—The rest that we should engage in each week with our Creator. This rest cycle is influenced by the circadian rhythms. It has been found that many organs in the body have a weekly cycle. Many vital signs, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure are actually slower on a weekly basis with the lowest reading being on the Sabbath. These body rhythms support that the Sabbath, not just any day of the week, but the seventh day (see The Seven Day Circle by Eviatar Zerubavel, New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, © 1985.) should be a day of worship and rest as commanded by the Creator and is a symbol of God’s finished work in both nature and man. It is a weekly invitation by God to recognize the work God is doing in each life and an opportunity to focus on our relationship with God, our family, and our fellow man. Praise the Lord for the Sabbath rest!
To be continued…