In my last post I wrote about how I have experienced God’s comfort while being sick. I’d like to expand on those thoughts. I think one of the main reasons why I have felt so content and so at peace in my sickness is because I really worked at resting my body and my mind—resting from work and activity and responsibilities, and also resting in the Lord; and really, I think all resting is in the Lord if it is done in obedience.
I know that some people, even though they are sick, find it necessary to force themselves to work and do their usual chores. They can’t seem to rest. They feel guilty when they rest. They feel that they just have to keep working. I admit I have done that myself, and what usually happens is that my body becomes overworked and I get sicker.
There is a time to rest. And when we are sick we need more rest than usual. And that’s hard for us to do because we are just not use to it and we want to go go go. So we really have to work at it. We have to discipline ourselves to stop working, to just let someone else do it, or to plan on doing it later. For me, letting the dishes pile up isn’t a big deal (I do that anyway), but not going to work is really hard for me. I admit I have to work at just calling in sick.
If you are used to getting to bed late and getting up early, if you are sick you really need to work on getting to bed earlier and forcing yourself to sleep later. Just tell yourself, “I can sleep in.”
Lately, since I’ve been sick I’ve found myself praying and thanking God for the opportunity to rest more. And I was asking Him to help me to just relax in Him, to be at peace with not have to do my regular chores. Yes, there is a time to rest. And if you are anxious about things, pray about them. This is your opportunity to pray more. You have time now to pray. And as you are committing everything to Him, He will give you His peace. (Phil 4:6-7).
One of the big sins the nation of Israel committed was that they disobeyed the laws of the Sabbath rest—for themselves and for their land. And for that sin God kept them in captivity for 70 years so their land could rest (read it in Lev. 26:34). Similarly, farmers need to rotate their crops; and also, every few years to just let their land lie dormant.
People need to rest too. We need one day a week to rest from work or our body will wear out. I just had a thought (dangerous!). I wonder if God actually makes us (or allows us to be) sick so we are forced to rest. Another thought (I’m on a role!): when we eat too much, especially in the evening, our body (especially our digestive system) is over worked. We rest better and will feel better when we eat less. And it’s also good to fast once in a while. That gives the body a good rest. So you see how resting is working? Because I think fasting is hard work. It’s something we don’t want to do.
God says to us in Psalms 37:7,
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
That’s a command. Let’s work at it! And when you do, you will find the sweet peace of His presence.