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God created this entire planet with a specific pattern and design. It is a pattern/design that follows a specific rule, rest. When God created this planet, He had this human race in mind. He created this earth with a habitat that would accommodate mortal beings in need of rest, recuperation, refueling, repair, and healing. He created a planet that has night and day. He also established a seven-day week in which the seventh day was to be a Sabbath rest. Six nights were set apart as a break from the daily work and reserved for restful sleep. One 24-hour day and night was set apart as a spiritual rest from the cares and duties of the entire week. If there is any doubt regarding the importance of rest, this fact alone should settle it.

Sometime soon, we are destined to live a life of immortality in heavenly realms and our home will be on a newly created Earth. But until such time, we are still mortal beings in need of sustenance provided by the habitat we live in. We eat, we drink, we breathe, we work, and we rest. Part of the optimum health package must include rest. In the new earth, rest will no longer be necessary. A great hint to this fact is that the Holy City which will be on this planet will always be lit with a glorious light radiating from God Himself. There will never be any nighttime or need for the sun in the Holy City.

“There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5

This will be the eternal age of the immortals. In the meantime, as we wait for that glorious day, we must tarry on a little longer in these feeble mortal bodies God has designed for us and care for them until we are transformed. Our bodies right now succumb to exhaustion, hunger, thirst, and all the physical needs that these mortal bodies are acquainted with. Therefore, we must nurture it as the treasured gift God has bestowed upon us.

There are three aspects of rest:

The first aspect is Physical Rest – Our bodies are constantly at work, even when we are sound asleep. The heart is always pumping, the blood is always flowing, and the brain is always working, for as long as life remains in us, the body works non-stop. But there are periods in which this body can rest physically. After a long day at work, we can come home and relax. Sit on the porch under the shade and just take a break. These periods of relaxation are very soothing and beneficial. One of the main periods of rest that many of us take for granted is our sleep. There is a reason why God designed this body to sleep. Sleep was not designed simply for resting, although that is what sleep entails. Sleep was also designed for healing and tissue repair.

It may be useful to know that sleep has several stages. Those stages make up two types. There is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and there is Non-REM sleep. There are three stages of Non-REM sleep and only one stage of REM sleep. I will go more into detail on each stage.

When we go to bed at night and fall asleep, the brain begins to decelerate and gradually relax. It transitions through a series of brain waves,  beginning from the highest frequency to the lowest. It first produces Beta Waves which are then followed by Alpha Waves which are slower than the Beta Waves. We then initially experience the first type of sleep, which is the Non-REM stage 1 sleep. This is considered the beginning of our sleep cycle and the brain is now producing Theta Waves which are slower yet higher amplitude waves. This stage of sleep is a light sleep in which anything can startle us and wake us up.

The next sleep stage is Non-REM stage 2. About 50% of people, in general, spend their total period of sleep at this stage. This is due to the lack of time and priority that is given to sleep. The brain becomes less aware of its surroundings, body temperature decreases, and breathing and heart rate slow down and become more regular. The brain produces a rhythmic brain wave called Sleep Spindles. Those of us with sleep apnea and chronic snoring may never reach the next stage of sleep because when air is obstructed, our breath is halted and the brain wakes us up and disrupts our sleep cycle. We gasp for air and then we begin our sleep cycle from the beginning. It is important to treat these abnormalities so that we can enjoy the full benefits of sleep.

Non-REM Stage 3 follows soon after. This is when the deepest part of the sleep cycle takes place. This stage is known as the Delta Sleep stage because this is when the slowest brain waves during sleep occur. During this stage, we are less aware of our surroundings and less responsive to environmental disturbances. It is during the stage 3 sleep cycle that the body regenerates itself. This is the stage we all want to reach. The body repairs and heals wounds and injuries, rejuvenates the brain, long-term memory is stored permanently in the data banks, the immune system releases inflammation-fighting cytokines, and our bodily hormones regulate, in short, our bodies go through a total overhaul every night.

Stage 4 sleep is considered the dream cycle. REM sleep is when the brain becomes more active and we dream up stories in a relatively short amount of time.

The second aspect is Mental Rest – The brain is constantly at work. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to stop the brain from working while alive. But we can certainly give it a mental recess or a calming down from the daily stresses. Reading a book, particularly the bible, would be a great choice. Meditating on the blessings from God. There are many types of meditation techniques of which most I would not recommend. Meditations where you are to clear your mind of any thought, chant mantras, or focus on a dot on the wall and such are dangerous. The reason is that the mind can never be totally blank. From a spiritual perspective, we are to guard our minds against the enemy, Satan. He is more than happy to have us empty our minds because it makes them vulnerable to his constant suggestions. Instead of emptying our minds, we need to fill them with God’s endless promises. Filling our minds with God keeps the Devil out.

Listen to soothing music and dwell on heavenly thoughts. Give your worries and cares to God and let Him handle them.   (1 Peter 5:7Psalm 55:22Matthew 6:25Matthew 11:28Philippians 4:6-7). Doing so will de-stress our minds and give us rest.

The third aspect is Spiritual Rest – God created us to be spiritual beings as well as physical beings. Since God is spirit, we are to approach Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Our spirit can be depressed and downtrodden. We become an emotional mess. God gave us a Sabbath rest so that we can get a spiritual energizing. The purpose of the Sabbath is threefold. It is a period at the end of the week that grants us physical rest from the daily workload of the week, mental rest from the daily stresses, deadlines, quotas, and demands required of us throughout the week, and spiritual rest. We need spiritual rest because as human beings, we often fall victim to despair, despondency, disappointments, low spirits, hopelessness, dejection, anxiety, and distress and the list can be quite long. Therefore, God gave us the Sabbath so that we can turn our attention away from these things and focus on Him who can single-handedly revive our spirits giving us hope and rest from all cares.

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