Did you know that your rest in between your workouts is just as essential as your actual workout? God, the ultimate Creator and designer, created our bodies in a way in that we need both activity AND rest. Yes, it’s important to move our bodies so that they remain strong, limber, and functional, yet it is also important to rest your muscles and joints so they can fully recover after being used. Your muscles need to time to rebuild the tiny tears that a workout naturally cause. Your body needs time to replenish its energy stores. Rest is required for recovery.
One of the many lies that our culture tries to sell us that we need to always be in motion, always moving from one thing to the next with our schedules chock-full of events, practices, classes, gym time, you name it. But God commanded His people in Exodus 20:8 to remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy by reserving it for rest and worship. God knew that as humans, we would constantly be striving to make things work in our own ways and in our own times. He knew that He would need to remind us to rest in Him and allow Him to work.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)
Now, I’m not telling you that you get to just veg on the couch all weekend doing nothing. But what I will encourage you to do is to listen to your body. If you are tired, get more rest with a short nap or by going to bed earlier. If your muscles are sore, work another muscle group. If you feel the slight twinge of an old injury trying to rear its ugly head, show yourself some grace and let your body heal instead of stubbornly pressing on. And most importantly, take some time to “snuggle” with your Creator by spending time in His Word and in communion with Him through prayer. He wants us to give Him our burdens so that He can give us rest (Matthew 11:28).