Summary: Rest is necessary to run the race God has marked out for us.
Be Still So That You Can Run!
Thomas A. Gaskill October 30, 2011
Introduction: Read Isaiah 40:28-31
Rest is vital to our well being physically, mentally, and spiritually.
God created the Sabbath to be a means of revitalization. It is a day to heed God’s invitation: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). It is a day to delight in Jesus’ words “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). As Jesus says, the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27).
Rest and relaxation is crucial. Take a look at what some in the medical field have to say:
Relaxation is perhaps the single most important key to health and well-being. It is the antidote to stress which is known to contribute to the development of disease. When we relax, our body has an opportunity to unwind. The benefits of relaxation have been well researched and some of these are summarized below.
• gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate
• reduces blood pressure
• slows the rate of breathing …
• increases blood flow to the muscles
• decreases muscle tension
As a result of relaxation, many people experience –
• more energy
• better sleep
• enhanced immunity
• increased concentration
• better problem-solving abilities
• greater efficiency
• smoother emotions — less anger, crying, anxiety, frustration
• less headaches and pain
Another website says of meditation:
Benefits of Meditation
• Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.
• Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.
• Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage. They are now thought to be a major factor in aging and in many diseases.
• Decreased high blood pressure.
• Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
• Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
• Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.
• Younger biological age.
• Higher levels of DHEAS in the elderly; lower levels of DHEAS are associated with aging.
Benefits of Meditation
• Increased brain wave coherence. Harmony of brain wave activity in different parts of the brain is associated with greater creativity, improved moral reasoning, and higher IQ.
• Decreased anxiety.
• Decreased depression.
• Decreased irritability and moodiness.
• Improved learning ability and memory.
• Increased self-actualization.
• Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
• Increased happiness.
• Increased emotional stability.
God definitely has our best interest in mind by calling us to “Be still and know that I am God.” Times of rest and relaxation are not to be done just for the sake of being done and nothing else. Rest and relaxation is to be purposeful. The purpose is not to enlarge a personal comfort zone where one becomes complacent or lazy. I strongly believe we are called to Be still so that we can run!
Listen to what a couple of websites share about rest in the life of an athlete:
Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off. The body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.
Rest days are critical to sports performance for a variety of reasons. Some are physiological and some are psychological. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days can help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.
In the worst-case scenario, too few rest and recovery days can lead to overtraining syndrome - a difficult condition to recover from.
One of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of any exercise or training program is the recovery phase, or time spent resting. It is all too common a thought that rest time is a period of doing no work, and while you are not actually doing any physical work, physiologically your body is seizing the opportunity to repair itself to become stronger in preparation for the next exercise stress placed upon it. It is during rest that the body becomes stronger.
Now that we have looked at the necessity and benefits of rest for the mind and body, I would like to now look at the necessity and benefits of rest spiritually.
Rest refreshes the body and mind which in turn enables one to refresh spiritually. A person who is constantly going 90 to nothing, will exhaust themselves to the point of becoming unresponsive to the things of God.