There are leaves in my yard. Not just a couple of leaves that were knocked down by a crazy squirrel. These are leaves that are being dropped to the ground because the tree is beginning to hibernate. It is beginning the process of entering into its long winter rest.
Rest is a blessing. In fact, it is a necessity. A lack of sleep increases stress and decreases the ability to physically and mentally function.
Simply resting can rejuvenate creative energies. How often have we heard "I'll just sleep on it for a while."
Taking the time to get away from a situation, to rest from it, allows one to process it. Resting can rejuvenate and re-energize and realign your perspectives.
Resting can also be a curse.
Rest can lead to complacency. In Judges chapter five the story of an insecure farmer is raised up to be mighty warrior the context of his home land is revealed. "And the land had rest for 40 years." But the people, instead of relishing and growing in the peace that rest affords, chose what was right in their own eyes with little if any thought to what God desired from them.
The danger of rest is the growth of complacency. Complacency is not contentment. Contentment is learning to be intrinsically happy regardless of external conditions. Complacency is pleased without concern for danger or opportunity. Complacency takes things as they are with little regard for what they are or what they imply.
Being complacent is being self-satisfied. Self-satisfaction is not a sense of personal awareness and understanding of who you have been created to be. Self-satisfaction generates a myopic view that atrophies your soul.
The soul that does not seek God or the things of God during the season of rest will experience drought in their soul.
The dried and unfed soul is prone to wander and seek anything to quench it. Yet often what is sought has nothing to do with the one who gave the blessing of rest.
The good gifts of God in your life can never be a substitute for God himself.
God gives periods of rest to seek him, to know him, to grow in him.
Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer.