Do you ever feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done? Well you are right! There is not enough time to complete everything. I guess that is why the Word tells us to just worry about today and let tomorrow take care of itself. Did you know that there is an amazing secret to helping you accomplish more each day, and it is not working harder? Actually the answer is REST!
How to Succeed While You Are Sleeping.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil, for he give to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2 (ESV)
Sleep is a gift from God. It is something that God gives to those whom He loves. Beloved, that is you! Sleep and rest are big deals to God. He knows that we need it because He created us that way. When God designed the world in which we live, He specifically created a day and a night; a time to be awake and a time to sleep.
Rest has always been part of God’s plan.
The Bible records creation as taking seven days to complete. In Genesis Chapter 1 we get a full account of the first seven days. The author could have said that it only took six days to get the job done, but he doesn’t stop there. He tells us on the seventh day that God rested and called that day blessed! The eight and the ninth days are not specifically mentioned, therefore I would concluded that the seventh day was just as an important day of creation as the first six. the day of rest.
No Rest for the Weary?
This is a common saying that has been passed down through the generations. I must admit, that I have even said it myself. The thing is, the Bible says something completely opposite.
Come to me you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Matthew 28:11 (NIV)
Yep! There it is in black and white. Jesus says if we come to Him when we are weary that He will give us rest. He also tells us to cast our cares and burdens onto Him because He cares for us. This doesn’t mean that your chores, duties, or responsibilities will just disappear altogether, but when we rest, we think more clearly. Getting the proper amount of sleep makes you healthier. When you are physically healthy, you make better more efficient choices and fewer mistakes. A well-rested person is much happier and less cranky. When you are less cranky and less stressed, you are kinder to your family. This makes them happy which gives you less stress. If we could learn that one little lesson, everything could change.
God sometime gives you the answer while you are sleeping.
I remember one day, David had been laboring all day long trying to fix our dyer. The belt on the drum had broken and he was trying to put on a new one. Finally frustrated late in the evening he just went to bed to get some rest. I was sleeping soundly too, and then I was awakened by some strange noises. I got up and went downstairs to find David working on the drier. “What are you doing?” I asked. He said that the Lord and shown him how to fix the drier in a dream!
A very dear friend of mine had a stroke at a young age. He told me that while he was in the hospital sleeping, God would come to him in dreams and teach him things. God showed him a clock and taught him how to tell time. He also would show him pictures of people and tell him their names. Within weeks, all of his memory loss had returned and he was functioning as though the stroke never happened.
Praise be to our God who never sleeps but is always working our things for our good!
God solved lots of other people’s problems through dreams.
- Joseph (OT)
- Wife of Pilate
- Joseph (NT)
- Wise men
The list goes on. How many more cool dreams can you find in the Bible? That might be fun to look up with your kids or grand kids.
Success does not come easy.
Just because God wants us to rest, doesn’t mean that all of our success is going to come easy. There is work involved. Remember, God worked for six days and rested one. He is God, of course, and doesn’t put those kinds of expectations on us. In 2 Thessalonians Paul tells hoe even though he was in ministry to the people, he still worked to provide for himself. He goes on to say to the people that those who do not work don’t eat.
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. Proverbs 12:24
So yes we need to work smart and with diligence, but we also need to be well rested. When we handle our work with excellence we can continue to succeed while we are sleeping.
God sees all your hard work and wants to reward you with rest.
Have you ever gotten so busy during the day that you forgot to eat? I have, sometimes if I am really into whatever project I am doing I may even forget to feed my kids! (They are old enough to get food for themselves if they were really hungry).
Jesus saw when his disciples had been working so hard that they didn’t have a chance to eat. This is what he told them.
Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to ear, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV)
Have you been consumed with work? Don’t forget to take some time off, retreat to a quiet place, spend some alone time with the Savior, and get some rest. When we do this, we are just following Jesus’ example. There is no doubt that he was always about His Father’s business. Sometimes that meant ministering to the masses and reaching out to the unwanted, but it also meant spending some time alone with his closest friends, completely alone with God, or an occasional nap on the boat.
If I could just fly away!
These are the words of someone who is completely overwhelmed by their situation. Have you ever been there? You have so many demands coming from so any different directions. There was an old bubble bath slogan you may remember, “Calgon, Take Me Away!” That was the cry of many busy moms. The psalmist put it this way:
Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” Psalms 55:6 (ESV)
The dove is one of our universal symbols of peace. It is also a symbol we use to depict the Holy Spirit, because the Bible says that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. This same Spirit is in each of God’s children. That means you if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. Not only can you fly like a dove and take a rest from your frustrations by
casting your cares upon Jesus. But you can have even bigger wings. By resting and waiting upon the Lord, you can have eagle’s wings!!
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
Eagles have the ability to fly high above all of their circumstances below. When are faith and hope in Christ is strong the waiting can be peaceful, freeing, and even restful. It is when we are constantly trying to do things in our own strength that we take on more than we can handle, and sometimes even hinder the work that the Lord is trying to accomplish.
We can sleep because we have a savior who never does.
You have seen movies where the characters are trying to sleep in the midst of a dangerous situation, right? There is always someone who stays up to take watch. It is ok for you to take some time to sleep and rest from your daily task because you have a God who has your back.
- Our God never slumbers or sleeps
- Jesus is always making intersessions for you
- He is always working things out for your good
- He has already been to your future and is not surprised by the outcome
- There is a perfect plan that he designed just for you.
- He is always faithful to His Word.
So if you have tried everything else, maybe you should try sleeping! Work diligently during the day, spend time with the Lord and with those you love, and then end the day with a good night’s sleep. Let go of fear and trust that the Lord will give you opportunities tomorrow to get things done. He may make some strategic moves in the night working on your behalf or maybe will give you the solution in your dreams.
Father forgive me for laboring in vain. I get up early and stay up late trying to accomplish things in my own strength. Your Word says that I can cast my cares upon you and exchange my burdens for being yoked with you. I know with you by my side I am stronger, for in my weakness you become strength for me. I choose to work diligently during my time to work and to rest diligently during my time to rest. I also thank you that you are always working on my behalf. I realize that the things I am striving to complete that you already have plans put into action. Give me wisdom to know when to act and when to rest. Help me Lord to learn to wait upon you so that I my soar like an eagle, prosper, and be successful for You Kingdom.
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Blessing from our family to yours,