"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." (Genesis 2:1-3 ESV)
We bear the image of a God who chose to rest. He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t need rest like we do. Yet, at the end of His creative work, He chose to rest. He celebrated and enjoyed the beauty of what He had made and rested. Why are we so slow to do the same?
Our life is not meant to be filled with unending anxious toil. God has designed us to have rhythms of work and rest. Seasons of toil and times of calm reflection. When these rhythms are absent in our life, things become untenable. Too much rest and we drown in laziness. Too much work and we burn out. Without balance between the two, we function poorly.
The same can be said in counseling. If every session is filled with deep and difficult work, our clients will likely feel weary and faint-hearted. On the other hand, if our sessions are too shallow and unchallenging, our clients will be ill-prepared for the difficulties ahead. Our sessions need balance. We need sessions of work and sessions of rest.
As counselors, we generally know what sessions of work look like. However, a session of rest can feel a bit ambiguous. In sessions of rest, we invite our clients to do what God did in Genesis 2:1-3. We invite them to pause and look back over their time in counseling and see, not their work, but rather the creative work God has been doing in their lives. We help them see how God has been faithful in their lives while reminding them He is faithful to finish what He has started. We help them rest, knowing God is with them and there is no part of their story from which He will ever depart. We help them slow down and see that His creative work in their lives is good and will continue to be good. Together, we take a session to celebrate and see God’s beautiful work in their lives.