Is God calling you to take a nap?
UNHURRY HACK: God meets us in our weariness and provides true nourishment and rest.
First read 1 Kings 19:5-7
Key Verse: Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 1 Kings 19:7
I love naps, but I sure do fight them. In many ways I am still the toddler who has 100 reasons for not resting when it's time. It feels good to sleep, so why is it so hard to meet this most basic need of the body?
Here are 5 areas adults fight nap time:
Fear of missing out - Everyone else is going full steam ahead. I should too.
Guilt - Naps are for lazy people.
No time - There are things to do and so little time.
Value other things - I think I'll watch a movie or scroll through social media instead.
Denial - I'm not really tired, I just need some more caffeine.
And there are likely more!
God values our worth ethic, but it's easy to forget, He also values our commitment to rest.
It's a reminder I need daily.
After the completion of a huge ministry project, I found myself depleted. I was physically exhausted, brain tired, and emotionally spent. This all seemed to bleed into my spiritual well-being too. I needed God's Word, but my eyes only fluttered. I needed conversation with God, but my prayers only trailed off in weary thought.
My house needed cleaning, new projects needed starting, and it was time to catch up with my friends and family, but it would all have to wait. My body was crying out for rest.
I knew from previous years that this annual project would wear me out, but somehow I had once again underestimated the full toll it would take on me. Likewise, I had neglected to plan for my needed recovery. I love people, but as an introvert, I know that time alone is an important piece of my recharge. Was I listening to God's instructions for nurturing my body? The body He intricately wove together and knows more about than even I do?
The enemy wants us to feel failure and so my body fought each of the 5 areas listed above. But the Holy Spirit faithfully reminded me that rest is being a good steward to a tired and spent body.
The Bible is full of wisdom and instruction about needed rest. Here is one of my favorites. These words are spoken to Elijah in the Old Testament, and they still minister to us today.
Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.
1 Kings 19:5-6
Elijah had different circumstances than us today, but God met him in his weariness and provided nourishment and rest, so he could refuel get back to serving God. It wasn't time to give up, it was time to rest up!
The same is true for you and me.
With that wisdom,
Gradually, I closed the laundry room door. Not today.
Gradually, I closed my laptop. Not today.
Gradually, I put away recipe books and shopping lists. Not today.
I ordered pizza, grabbed a book, and put comfy pants on. I cleared the day, rested, and napped. It was good and necessary.
Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 1 Kings 19:7
Don't you love how God knows just what we need? Oh that we would listen and receive His nurture and care. Lord, teach us to value sleep at night, healthy rhythms of activity, and restful pauses in our day.
The Bible says plenty about avoiding laziness, and this can be hard to justify rest. Yet, read in context we see wisdom in avoiding a foolish life without self-discipline and responsibility. For example, Proverbs 6:6 says: Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
Rest is a blessing. Psalm 4:8 reminds us: "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 127:2 says,
It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Romans 12:11 reminds us that adequately resting our body allows us to love, serve, and enjoy God well: "Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically."
Is God calling you to a nap today? Consider the rest your body needs today. Are you recovering from a big event, project, or even an illness? Rest is a blessing. Then consider daily needs. Am I staying up too late or am I giving my body the rest it needs?
JOIN ME IN PRAYER:
Father God, I thank you for rest. It feels good to live with a healthy body, but I can't do it on my own. I confess my need of self-discipline and self-control. Holy Spirit, cultivate these in me, minister, and teach me to make wise choices daily for my body. It is Your temple Lord. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.