A study on sleep was conducted by household brand Philips this year, and it yielded some interesting results. According to the study, Singaporeans are among the worst sleepers in the world.
How much sleep do you get? It seems that the average Singaporean gets 6.3 hours of sleep on weekdays and 6.7 hours on weekends. This is lower than the global average of 6.8 and 7.8 hours respectively.
I suppose this is why God instituted rest as a commandment. In His infinite wisdom, He knew that people wouldn’t get their needed rest if left to their own devices. Think about it – when we were kids, we never liked to go to bed. If we could stay up later, we would. Often, bedtimes had to be enforced by parents.
While it was a certain thrill for us to stay up late as kids, many of us today stay up late because of one thing – stress. Or at least that’s what the Philips’ study tells us. And that’s where we need to come back to what Jesus told us.
Matthew 11:28 tells us that when we turn to Him, He will give us rest. But what does God mean when He talks about rest in Scripture? It is about pausing and ceasing from work, but it also goes beyond that. It’s about restedness. The thing about stress is that it brings a sense of restlessness. That’s why when we’re stressed, we can go to bed early but be unable to fall asleep. Or we might even sleep for eight hours and still wake up feeling tired.
So, when Jesus talks about rest, He wants to bring us from restlessness to restedness. That means not only resting from work, but working from rest. This is why in Matthew 11, Jesus calls us to Himself and to take His yoke. At the end of the day, restedness boils down to the trust and assurance we have in Christ. It’s not always easy, but I pray that day by day we’ll learn to put our trust and hope in Christ alone. Maybe then, we can come to a place of restedness.
- Deputy Senior Pastor Daniel Khong