The human mind will go crazy without sleep.

After a few days without falling asleep most people begin to hallucinate. First, exhaustion is accompanied by signs of apathy, impaired speech, flattened emotional responses but eventually it can lead to “insomnia, cardiovascular risks, emotional disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), and obesity” The risks of sleep deprivation are greater than what they may first appear.

We need rest.

The scriptures teach us throughout their pages the human need for rest or sabbath. The term “sabbath” first appears in Exodus 16 as the Lord commands the Jewish people to rest one day a week. The Jews had just escaped from Egypt - the land of toil and slavery. Many reasons exist as to why people think God put this command forth; but, it certainly is no accident that it occurred right after the Jews were rescued from slavery. God was commanding a lifestyle to be implemented which would prevent a mindset of slavery from once more being adopted by his chosen people.

Though likely no one reading this today faces the physical toil and hardship of an ancient near-eastern slave many today have adopted a slavery like mind-set. We live in a free country where our minds are constantly consumed and bound with work. In extreme cases, we see our friends and neighbors working their whole lives for a wealth they never enjoy. We bind ourselves to our work.

We adopt a slavery like mindset.

But Christ has come to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Lk 4:18). He calls us out of pointless toil and work into his peace where our souls can rest.  He says, “Come unto me, all [you] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Our role, though, is to let go.

Our responsibility is to trust that when we do that God will catch us. So much of our striving and lack of rest is bred from a lack of faith. We must trust that God is good and that when we rest he will stand close by and keep us safe. Today,  “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:6-7).

Author John Bush, 1/29/13, staff