Somewhere along the line, we got sort of mixed up in regards to this rest thing. We have the idea that we are supposed to work first and rest later, right? Right! You drag yourself out of bed, work very hard all day, get home from your job in order to race about trying to do all the things you didn't have time to do because you were working for someone else, get prepared for the next day, collapse into bed at some ridiculous hour (guilty as charged) only to be rudely awakened at some ridiculous hour so that you can do it all over again. Are we having fun yet?
Does the phrase "running the rat race" come to mind? Indeed, you certainly do feel like one of those little hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats or whatever running about on your little endless wheel. You may try to convince yourself that your particular wheel is really "The Wheel of Fortune" but don't kid yourself. Your wheel may be may glitzier than the wheel of some else but it's still a wheel, right? Yeah, it is and truthfully, it's not going anywhere. You just think it is just like the hamster, gerbil, mice, rat or even the guy next door.
We think this is the correct order of things. After all, isn't this what God did? He worked first and then He rested, right? I mean, in the first chapter of Genesis we read the creation account of what God did each day. On the sixth day, God created man and on the seventh day, God rested from all the work which He had made. This is what GOD did.
Since we're not God, perhaps we should take a moment and look at what Adam did. On the sixth day, God made man and declared that everything He had made was very good and what happened next? A time of rest.
We've got it backwards. God never intended us to work and then rest. He intended us to rest first so that we might be fully prepared... to work. If you think I'm wrong, consider this. You have a very busy day ahead of you. Despite your hectic and busy schedule, you resist the temptation to hurl yourself into the whirlwind of activity and instead, you slip off for a bit to rest in Him? You spend some time reading and meditating on the Word of God, you take time to pray and worship God. In other words, you start out by resting in Him. How does your day go?
Then you have those days where you leap out of bed and hit the floor running. You don't have time to rest! What ends up happening? Sigh... I've had more of those days than what I care to admit.
The point is, God never intended for us to start out full-steam ahead. Instead He invites us to step into His rest first thing. In His presence there is perfect peace and rest and when we get our "rest" we will quickly discover that we are energized and ready to labor for Him.