Why Rest Needs to be the Fuel and not the Finale of Your Work Week

Jenna DeWalt

by Jenna DeWalt

Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom, and Propel Sophia seeks out the voices of truly wise women and asks them to share worked examples of how they express faith in daily life. Pull up a chair at Sophia’s table, won’t you? There’s plenty of space.



“Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving–all because God loves hilarious generosity!” (2 Corinthians 9:7 TPT) We serve a generous God. And being created in his likeness, we too, are called to live with joyful, hilarious generosity.

I believe that one of the greatest joys in life is the opportunity to give generously to change lives and nations. This is why I love business so much. The potential for the creation of wealth in business for kingdom impact is vast. Generosity also comes in the form of time. But whether in time or treasure, my struggle has been protecting the boundaries of rest to live with capacity for both.

Faithful Obedience Leads to Hilarious Generosity

I want to be a generous and joyful giver, as 2 Corinthians 9:7 commends, and this has motivated me to pray hard and work hard so that I am more able to do so. We must do our part and work as if we are working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), but we need to take care that our posture is one of faithful obedience, and not sinful striving. In fact, the Bible says, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves (Psalm 127:2 NIV)”.

I recently went through an intensely disciplined season. I knew it would be a year with very little margin, but I figured that for just one year, I could push through to accomplish my goals in the name of moving toward a life of increased generosity. I was intentional to prioritize healthy habits, but time for rest fell to the wayside. I made it six months before I wore down my body so much I had to go part-time at my job and stop the classes I was taking. I couldn’t walk more than 200 meters for exercise. And my peace was gone. I had effectively taken myself out of the race because of my disobedience in pursuing more than the Lord was asking of me, on the timeline that he was asking me to do it. I bore the natural consequences of striving.

Striving in any area of life is not what the Lord is asking of any of us. Recently I heard a pastor share that the Lord gives us the time we need to accomplish what he’s asked of us–with peace. Hearing that prompted a deep sigh of relief in my soul.

Our Best Work Comes Out of Rest

We can allow our lives to get so busy that we don’t stop to ask, “Lord, what are you asking of me in this day, week, season, year?” When we do more than the Lord is asking of us, it becomes disobedience that interferes with what he’s called us to do. It interferes because it impacts our ability to rest—to Sabbath—so that we have the peace and capacity to tackle what he’s called us to do with excellence, including the capacity for generosity with our time and resources.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s that rest is productive. Sabbath is a sustaining grace to accomplish all the Lord has planned for us. I prioritize Sabbath so that I can remain engaged with what the Lord has called me to do. A non-stop commitment to God includes a commitment to stop and rest. It is not by striving that our businesses, careers, motherhood, or other callings will grow and succeed, but it’s directly correlated to our obedience which includes rest and peace.

God graciously used the lessons learned out of striving—and failing—for the creation of my business, Sabbath Candle Company. This brand is designed to inspire and serve as a reminder to incorporate rhythms of rest in our daily lives.

A Joyful Exhortation

If I can encourage you in one thing, it’s this: you have an incredible call on your life and you have a purpose waiting to be fulfilled each and every day. But you cannot do that with the peace and joy of the Lord when you are burned out, worn out, exhausted, and stressed. Accept the beautiful gift of rest the Father has given you so that you can crush it in the calling He’s placed on your life with the joy of the Lord.



Jenna DeWalt is the founder of Sabbath Candle Company. Her heart for business is to build wealth for the kingdom and to give generously to the causes that are near to the Father’s heart, with a specific connection to causes of justice around the world. Find her on Instagram @sabbathcandleco