In many ways, God’s rest on the seventh day of creation is paralleled by the birthing process and the period after birth, when the labor is finished yet the bonding begins. The mother and father gaze endlessly at their child, who is distinct from the parents because she is no longer merely in the mind and the womb of the mother, but external and separate. She is no longer solely in the imagination or deep in the womb; she is finally released to be held in the arms of the parent. This attachment brings mother and child into a bond that, if secure, will last through thick and thin, heartache and loss, and provide the child with an assurance that all will be well.
Many Jewish commentators say that on the seventh day of creation, God created menuha, a Hebrew word that means rest but also implies tranquility, joyous repose, and deep delight. I love the metaphor Dan Allender uses to describe menuha in his book, Sabbath: