I Will Give You Rest

The kingdom of heaven is like… a mustard seed… a hidden treasure… a fishing net. “Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables” (Matthew 13:34).

A modern day parable
The human body is like an automobile. It takes fuel, electricity and intelligence for an automobile to drive. Gasoline is burned as fuel in order to propel the automobile. The battery and alternator provide electricity to start the car, and power all of its electrical components in order to operate. And it takes intelligence to drive the car safely. Likewise, the human body needs calories (fuel) in the form of food, which provide energy for every cell to function. They generate the “electricity” that is vital to your nervous system and heart. Furthermore, you require intelligent direction to navigate you safely to life’s various destinations. These three sources of energy continually need to be supplied.

The cleanest source of calories come from healthy carbohydrates in fruits and vegetables, as well as from healthy fats like those found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and coconuts. However, both nerve energy and spiritual energy come from a much different source: rest.

Spiritual rest
In order to rest in the Lord we must have faith, which is the spiritual “energy” that comes from rest. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Faith helps us rest. “For only we who believe can enter his rest” (Hebrews 4:3). In order to have faith, we must obey. Without faith and obedience, we cannot enter into his rest (see Hebrews 3:18-19). Romans 14:23 tells us that whatever is not from faith is sin. “But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” That is why we as Christians must be attentive to God’s voice and do what he says. “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

Physical rest
The other type of rest comes in physical form. Sleep helps you regenerate the vital nerve energy that flows throughout your nervous system and keeps your heart beating in a healthy rhythm. That is why sufficient sleep is so important.

Dangers of insufficient sleep
Think of sleep like a battery charger. You recharge your body’s electrical system during sleep. Even skipping one night will make you feel sick, disoriented and nearly dysfunctional. Do you wake up in the morning feeling completely refreshed, alert and ready to go at the required time without any help? If you need an alarm clock to wake up, you are sleep deprived.

Without sleep you would die in less than two weeks. Insufficient sleep severely compromises your nervous system, which means you would become severely ill well before death. Too little sleep impacts your levels of thyroid and stress hormones, which in turn can affect your memory, immune system, heart and metabolism. Sleep deprivation puts your body into a pre-diabetic state, and makes you feel hungry, even if you have already eaten. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to high blood sugar and an increased risk of diabetes. When you are sleep deprived, your body decreases production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain there is no need for more food. At the same time it increases levels of a hormone that triggers hunger, all leading to increased body fat and weight gain. Lack of sleep increases your risk of cancer by altering hormone balance. It also contributes to accelerated aging, depression and high blood pressure. And be warned; sleep deprivation is cumulative.

Most people who suffer with inadequate sleep are unaware, or perhaps unwilling to recognize, the significant impact of their tiredness. They mask the problem with stimulants or stimulating habits that keep them awake, unaware of the dangerous risks. When they do finally become aware of the problem, millions of people resort to drugs to help them sleep. Americans fill tens of millions of prescriptions for sleeping pills and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on over-the-counter sleep aids each year. These drugs are not the answer. If you have become dependent, switch to natural, non-addictive herbal sleep aids.

Sleep tips
The best environment to sleep in is one that is cool, fresh, dark, quiet and comfortable. Open the window. Lie down with your head facing north. Your body has an electromagnetic field, which is why it is much easier to relax when you are lying down from north-south. Speaking of electromagnetic fields, unplug anything creating a strong field in your bedroom, such as wireless Internet, plug-in clocks, night lights and computers. Do not sleep with your cell phone next to your head, but turn it off so you are not wakened by those rude off-hours texts! Avoid any stimulating or distracting entertainment or work at bedtime. Instead, do something relaxing before bed, like reading the Bible. Do not use stimulants at night or eat late. Establish a bedtime routine and get on a regular schedule. And, of course, adopt healthy habits like exercise and eating right.
God cares more about you than all of his creation. Listen to his voice, have faith and enter his rest!

Dr. Jeff Hazim is a chiropractor and nutritional counselor practicing in Pompano Beach (TheBrowardCenter.com), and Executive Director of “Biblical Health Television,” the only TV network devoted to biblical Health (BiblicalHealth.tv). Weekly Radio Broadcasts: BlogTalkRadio.com/BiblicalHealth.

 

Dr. Jeff Hazim :