R is for Rest




R is for rest. The Bible tells us that God wants us to rest. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

We all need rest. Rest comes in different forms. There's rest for the body, but there's also rest for the mind and the spirit, which are also important. Our bodies require nightly sleep, and the needs change as the body develops.

The Mayo Clinic recommends 10-13 hours for children ages three to five, and 9-12 hours for children ages six to 12. Sometimes we think teens need eight hours, like adults, but it is important to note that up to 10 hours is recommended for teens--and most adolescents are not getting enough sleep. (If you'd like to read a summary of research on Neurological and Sleep Implications of Gen Z, click here.)

Getting the right amount of sleep helps the body stay healthy: fight infection, repair damage, regulate body weight, and more. But that's not all. Adequate sleep also helps the mind -- with improved emotional control, attention, memory, behavior, moods, and more. Rest is important!

I believe these things were on Jesus' mind when He gave the invitation in Matthew 11 to come to Him for rest. But more than just physical rest, as important as that is, I believe He was also inviting His followers to rest emotionally and spiritually.

Before His death, Jesus said to the disciples, "I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27) When we trust in our Heavenly Father, He gives us a peace that some people don't know how to explain. "And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7) With this kind of peace in our hearts, we can truly rest.

Beyond adequate nightly sleep and peace through meditation in God's Word, the Bible also teaches a weekly rest. Embedded right in the middle of the Ten Commandments, we read: "You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God.: (Exodus 20:9-10) You may be aware that Savannah Adventist Christian School is part of the Seventh-day Adventist church system, and as such, our teachers are all seventh-day Sabbath-keepers. I have experienced for myself that taking one day a week to rest from my usual activities and do things to help me honor God and help others, is great way to invest my time. I invite you to consider it as well!

Last month we looked at Choice. I hope you've chosen to make good choices! And now I hope you'll consider REST as another practical way to care for your body and mind. As you do, you will in turn have what it takes to help your family prioritize physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual rest as well.

Next month, we will look at E. E is for Environment!

Be sure to check out the Rest page of the Creation Life website for many more resources about how "Rest" impacts our health, our family, our kids, and every aspect of life.


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