If Rest Feels Unrealistic for Your Life Right Now

by Dr. Joel Muddamalle December 19, 2023
“On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:2-3 (CSB)

Is the pace of your life exhausting you?

I get it. Between both me and my wife working full time, raising four children, managing two dogs, and juggling responsibilities in the home, rest has felt like a destination we’ll reach one day (when we’re retired … if we’re lucky).

But recently, I’ve been deeply convicted of the lack of rest in my life. This goes beyond the amount of sleep I’m getting every night. The tyranny of the urgent weighs on me. My to-do lists overflow. There is always something left to be done. I can’t help but feel like I’m falling short and playing catch-up constantly.

The tragedy is that living a life without rest is not biblical, and it’s not the life God modeled for us either. Look at Genesis 2:2-3 with me:

“On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation.”

I’ve always read this verse and thought God ceased to do anything on the seventh day. But it’s actually not that simple. Yes, God worked for six days and rested on the seventh day, but He didn’t cease to create on the seventh day. He just created in a totally different way. On the seventh day, He created peace, tranquility and rest.

We are invited to create this same peace in our lives by incorporating God's rhythm of rest, which the Bible refers to as “Sabbath,” into our weekly routines.

My family recently started doing an intentional Sabbath one day a week. On this day, we rest. But like God modeled for us in Genesis, we don’t stop all activity. We just work in a different way. We learn how to live in the serenity of an unhurried existence, being still long enough to feel God’s presence, hear God’s instruction and see God’s blessing.

God designed Sabbath to be something that fuels and energizes us — not something that we work ourselves to the bone to achieve and experience.

If Sabbath has felt unrealistic or overwhelming to you, I get it. If you’re there today, I want to share three simple things my family and I work into this weekly rhythm:

  1. We set intentions on the morning of Sabbath by asking ourselves, What is one way we want to recharge today? Sometimes that looks like reading a book, taking a nap or going on a walk.

  1. We reduce technology and pick a family board game to play.

  1. My wife and I cook dinner together, and we all eat together at the table.

Don’t let the misconceptions of what Sabbath “has to look like” get in the way of trying it at all. There have been some bumps in the road, and my family and I definitely aren’t doing it perfectly — but we are doing it. And we’re experiencing the fruit of a life that is well rested as we follow the instruction of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (CSB).

Lord, thank You for offering me a place to rest at all times. Help me consider what the rhythm of Sabbath could look like in my life while I juggle all the demands of my schedule and the responsibilities on my plate in this season. Thank You for bringing peace into every situation … good, hard and unknown. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Prayer is not just a spiritual discipline; prayer contains power that changes things. Lysa TerKeurst and Dr. Joel Muddamalle want to help you gain a deeper understanding of God’s intent behind prayer and equip you to participate in prayer in your own life. That’s why they created a FREE resource called “Consider This: Do Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?” Download it here.

Even if we aren’t aware of it right now, there is a motivation driving everything we do and say. How can we identify what our greatest motivation is and be aware of how it’s shaping our daily lives? Listen to Lysa TerKeurst, Dr. Joel Muddamalle and Jim Cress discuss this in the newest episode of Therapy & Theology, titled “What Do You Ultimately Want?” Watch on YouTube here!



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Psalm 23:1-3, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have what I need. He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (CSB).

How could prioritizing Sabbath make verses like Psalm 23:1-3 feel like more of a reality in your life? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Dr. Joel Muddamalle. All rights reserved.

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