by Rick Warren — January 5, 2023
From Living in the Goodness of God
“It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.”
Psalm 127:2 (TLB)
When we started Saddleback Church, I was working 18 hours a day. We hosted people in our home twice a week, every week. On the last Sunday of the first year, I stood up to speak—and fainted. I was worn out from physical, spiritual, and relational exhaustion.
Over the next year, God taught me some things about balance—which I’ve had to learn over and over again since then. Here’s what I learned: Resistance to rest is immaturity. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the church nor anything else that is worthwhile.
The Bible says in Psalm 127:2: “It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest” (TLB).
God doesn’t want you to accomplish everything all at once. He wants you to learn to pace yourself as he uses the circumstances of your life to help you mature little by little. While God is growing your business, he’s growing you. While God is growing your children, he’s growing you. While God is growing your career, he’s growing you. For you to grow, you have to learn to rest in God’s goodness.
Some people think God only smiles on them when they’re working, praying, or doing “spiritual” things. But God also smiles on you when you rest.
If you’re a parent, and you’ve ever gone in your kids’ room and checked on them at night, you know the joy it gives you just to watch them sleep. Your heavenly Father enjoys watching you sleep and rest. He created you to need rest. Even God rested! Are you busier than God?
Exodus 31:17 says, “Work six days only, for the seventh day is a special day to remind you of my covenant—a weekly reminder forever of my promises to the people of Israel. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and rested on the seventh day, and was refreshed” (TLB).
Why did God rest and relax on the seventh day? It’s not because he was tired, because God doesn’t get tired. He was modeling what he wants you to do: Stop work and relax, keep a Sabbath, and rest in God’s goodness.