During the Labor Day holiday, we should be able to hit pause and enjoy a day of physical rest. But sometimes amid our busy schedules, it’s hard to do just that. Yet in the Bible, we see that even some of the Lord’s greatest prophets needed time for rest. So why is rest so important? Let’s take a closer look at the story of Elijah.
Elijah was a prophet who boldly confronted the worship of false gods. In 1 Kings 18, he demonstrated that our God answers prayers during a meeting with the prophets of Baal. He challenged the false prophets to prepare a sacrifice and ask their god to set fire to it; meanwhile, Elijah prepared a sacrifice for the Lord. While the altar of Baal did not catch fire, our God lit a powerful flame on His altar.
“Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and it licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell facedown and said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” – 1 Kings 18:38-39
After Elijah faithfully demonstrated the power of the Lord, King Ahab’s wife—the wicked Jezebel—threatened his life. Fleeing to the wilderness out of fear, Elijah experienced a moment of desperation and prayed that God would end his life. However, God did not respond to his plea; instead, the Lord allowed him to rest. He also sent an angel to minister to Elijah with food and water. The angel told Elijah to replenish his body so he could resume his journey to Horeb, the mountain of God.
So we return to the question: Why is rest so important? God reveals one answer through the story of Elijah. In moments of fear, we sometimes forget to put our trust in the Lord. When we let our fears drive us, we often find ourselves in a place of physical and emotional weariness. By finding time to rest, we can overcome our fears, renew our trust in Him, and reignite ourselves for the spiritual journeys ahead.
At e3 Partners Ministry, we can certainly relate to our Biblical predecessor’s feelings. Our missionaries spend a large amount of time away from home, helping to plant churches in more than 90 countries. False ideologies and threats of persecution are not uncommon in these places.Yet we are reminded of God’s protection and provision. And we, too, must rest and recharge when necessary, so we can continue to answer the call of the Great Commission.
If you, too, need a moment to recharge this Labor Day weekend, we encourage you to spend some time in the Word reading Elijah’s story. The Bible promises that God is our provider and protector, and that we can always find our rest in Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28