This post and the photos within it contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking an affiliate link, my ministry gets a small commission, with no extra cost to you. See my full disclosures HERE.
When it comes to rest, I am definitely in the minority.
So many people I know, tend to stay up late, burn the candle at both ends, and feel exhausted as a result. Maybe that’s you too? You keep going and going, because there are endless demands and fruitless distractions, and the pressure to keep up with the world is ever-present.
But for me, I can’t NOT rest. I’ve had narcolepsy since I was 12 years old, so if there’s anything I’m excellent at, it’s resting. Most nights I get eight hours of sleep (or at least seven), and most days I take two naps. With all of that, plus a few priceless medications, I manage to squeak by with some semblance of normalcy. But really, most days I still feel about as exhausted as a mom with three kids and a full-time job (but, I’m single with no kids and only a part-time job).
So, it really bugs me when the healthy (read: don’t have a sleep disorder) people around me are just as sleepy/tired as I am. Sometimes, I just want to shake people by the shoulders and say “Don’t do this to yourself! You could be so beautifully awake and energetic, but you’re squandering all of that, and lowering yourself to my level. I’m stuck here with this narcolepsy, but you’re not! Please give yourself the sleep your body needs, so you can feel so much better.”
A bit harsh? Maybe. But still, true!
I totally understand that there are times and seasons of life when a person can’t get enough quality sleep, or take Sunday off from work, or so on. If you’re a college student cramming for finals, or a new mom, or in some other hard-pressed time of life, it will probably be difficult to get enough rest.
But if you’re exhausted simply because you’re staying up late to binge-watch your favorite show, or you think you *HAVE* to do laundry, or you just keep going ’til you drop, STOP. Don’t do that to yourself!
Nobody can do it all. And yet, we keep pushing the limits until we push sleep right out of the picture. Really, if you want to be fully present for your family, your work, and to enjoy your life, then what’s more important than getting a good night’s sleep? What’s more important than taking one day a week to spend with family? What’s more important than setting yourself up for success, by being well-rested? Not much.
Four Compelling Reasons to Rest
Let this be your excuse to go to bed early…or take a nap…or just take a day off from work. Do whatever you have to do, to give your body the rest it needs.
1) God rested on the 7th day! By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)
Did you catch that? The Creator of the Universe rested. So what makes us think that we can just plow through without ever taking time to rest?
2) Jesus was not against taking a much-needed nap…even in the middle of a storm. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:24-26 (NIV)
I love this. Don’t ever feel guilty for taking a nap! If you need it, take it.
3) Sleep is the third pillar of health, right up there with nutrition and exercise. How do I know this? Well, of course that’s what the modern-day health experts say, but it’s also the framework God laid out in Genesis. He instructed Adam to eat the good plants for food (Genesis 1:29, 2:16-17), to work the garden (2:15), and He also created the Sabbath day (2:2-3) (also Exodus 35:2).
REST is an important part of God’s original design. I love what John Piper says about sleep, in this article on DesiringGod.org:
Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere men. God handles the world quite nicely while a hemisphere sleeps. Sleep is like a broken record that comes around with the same message every day: Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Don’t let the lesson be lost on you. God wants to be trusted as the great worker who never tires and never sleeps. He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps.
4) Getting enough sleep helps you in so many ways! It improves your productivity, gives you the energy to make smart choices (like eating healthy, and working out!), helps your mood and your outlook on life, and so much more. But don’t take my word for it! Check out this Healthline article: 10 Reasons Why Good Sleep is Important.
If I could land this whole post on one point, it’s this: God designed us to need rest (both physical and spiritual). It’s great to work diligently, to love and care for the people in your life, but then you need to rest. Get your full seven-to-eight hours of sleep each night, and take time for spiritual rest too. Rely on God for everything (see Philippians 4:6-7), and rest easy.
Hi! Thank you so much for visiting Divine Creative Love. I’m a Jesus-lovin’ girl, lettering artist, designer, and general creative-at-heart. And, I have narcolepsy. I blog about faith in God, overcoming challenges, and creative topics such as Bible journaling. If you’re new here, be sure and subscribe to my list so you won’t miss anything!