Finding Rest

Read: Genesis 1:31-2:3

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. (2:2 NIV)

I love the fall season in the Midwest. When my family and I lived in rural Iowa, the fall meant combines in the fields, soybean dust in the air, and field corn piled high near the local mill. The harvest was hard work, but it yielded food, celebration, and relief. God provided, even if the spring had been wet or the summer unseasonably dry.

Once the fields were harvested and the grain stored or sold, the farmland entered a season of rest. This rest was not because the farmers had become lazy; it was because the Midwest environment demanded it. Fall would soon turn to winter and the land would be blanketed in snow, the moisture helping prepare it for the next year’s hoped-for successful planting season.

God knew when it was time to rest, as the story of creation reminds us. Following the greatest artistic work of all time, even the maker of the universe took a break. Perhaps this year, or even this week, you have been working hard to create or maintain many good things, but at what expense? Are you stressed? Are you just too tired?

After God rested, he began work on his greatest creation: humankind. I would encourage you to follow God’s lead, regularly letting go and finding rest, so you can do his work well and truly appreciate the harvest of God’s blessings. —Joy Petroelje

As you pray, praise God for the gift of rest and renewal.

About the Author

Joy Petroelje

Joy Petroelje is the director of a nonprofit human services organization. She and her husband Steve have three sons and live near Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition to family time and her work in nonprofit administration, Joy enjoys reading, writing, and running.