Oklahomans have a great work ethic. Through the examples of a stringent life in the oil industry or rigorous work in agriculture, long hours and dedication have been instilled in our character. Add on top of this an affluent culture that rewards the busiest of individuals and you have a recipe of tired, over-worked people. My family and I are just as guilty as any other. We run from one commitment to another while trying to keep up the home chores and find quality time to spend with our children. Because of this most of us are just plain tired. Not the good kind of tired that you feel after completing a meaningful task or event, but the kind of tired you feel when you didn’t get a good night sleep. The kind of tired that affects every area of your life in a negative way. “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
God has called us to rest. He set the example for us to rest. When God was making the covenant with His people, he made it mandatory for them to rest. They had the Sabbath Day rest as well as many religious holidays in which they were not allowed to work. These became legalistic duties that the religious leaders used as a yoke of slavery over the people. It was this legalism that Jesus rejected but he never said that the rest itself was wrong. Because of Jesus, the burden of the Law was removed. We have the right to work. However, Paul says, “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful.” (1 Corinthians 10:23). In fact, when it comes to our lack of rest, we are hurting ourselves. God gave us the example to rest and he is calling us to rest. Science is showing us that our lack of rest is causing many health problems including hypertension and heart disease. God created us and he knows more than anyone what our bodies need. It is time for many of us to stop and rest!
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”