Rest. So essential for our physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual well-being.
Rest. So elusive, and the very real need for it is often ignored, dismissed and denied.
Yet, the Lord of all creation set aside time for Himself to rest.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. – Genesis 2:1-2
God set aside this holy time to rest, although our God Himself “will not grow tired or weary” (Isaiah 40:28). God established the practice and importance for us to stop all our work, taking a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord right from the time He provided manna to His people (Exodus 16). God feels so strongly about us taking a holy Sabbath to the Lord, that it made His top ten list:
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work…For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11
Out of God’s love for us, and out of His understanding our deepest soul and body needs, our God set aside the Sabbath day for us to keep as a holy day of rest, a holy day to worship our God without the busyness of life crowding in. How’s that going for you?
I hate to admit it, but a full day of rest each week, as a holy Sabbath to the Lord, has not made my top ten list very often. Convicted. Ouch. I do believe, and try to live out, the truth that every day is a holy day to worship, seek and live for the Lord. But to come to a screeching halt for a full day each week – putting aside all my work, putting aside all I want to accomplish, putting down my lap-top, unplugging from my “to do list” of responsibilities and from all things cyberspace – almost seems impossible. Silly me! I have to remember:
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26
My God deserves my undistracted, undivided worship. My God deserves a full day set aside as holy to Him. And it will be with my God, and through His love, that this will be made possible. To keep a day set aside to rest from my work, to let God restore my soul and my body. To keep a day to honestly and humbly live out the truth that neither I nor my work is of utmost importance! A day for me to take Jesus up on His loving “Come with me” invitation – because all things are possible with God!
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31