Remember to Rest
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. – Exodus 20:8-10(a)
We’re pretty busy around here. Despite the fact that over the past year we have gone from a family of 6 down to a family of 4, the chaos continues on. We each have our own responsibilities, our own activities — you would think after 20+ years of marriage that Brad and I would have solved the mystery of time management, but no! It’s a lot to juggle sometimes.
I think most families are like that, no matter their size. We’re all just going from here to there, every day, nonstop. Because we have to… or, really, just because we choose to. We quickly fill our calendars with the things that consume our most precious resource, our time. And often we do this more quickly than we take the time to fill our hearts with the very One who created us with a need for rest.
Busyness is like an epidemic. It’s prevalent, wide spread.
For years now I have honestly been running myself ragged. Working a job outside of the home, plus the mommy stuff, plus the wifey stuff, plus studying for school, plus ministry work. I just keep going and going and going…
On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, – Genesis 2:2-3(a)
Now, I’m not arguing the sabbath law here, or the correct day for observing the sabbath. We can have our doctrines and opinions on whether or not a sabbath is still “required” for the New Testament church, but that isn’t what is on my heart. Today I am talking about taking the time to rest. The truth of the matter is that we all NEED rest. We all NEED refreshing. We all NEED renewal. The sabbath fills those needs (and more) and so – law or not – the sabbath is good and the sabbath is Holy.
When was the last time you slowed down? Not just slightly pulling back from the accelerator, but when did you really s—l—o—w down and take some time to rest?
I mean, not to dictate your sabbath rest, but did it include Jesus?
Because your time in front of the tv, that may not include Jesus.
Your time consumed by your cell phone, that may not include Jesus.
The time you spend exercising, it might not include Jesus.
When you were sitting in that seat at church, it may not have included Jesus.
That time you spend sleeping, or tanning, or hiking, or ________________. You get the picture (I’m preaching to myself here! Tell me I’m not alone…)
And it’s not that Jesus can’t be a part of those times. He can. We trust that He is in the rest and the busyness, regardless of if we’re acknowledging Him (ouch!) But did you SEEK Him? In your weariness and need for rest, refreshing and renewal, are you just collapsing in the activity of “rest” or are you pressing in and pursuing the true renewal in Christ?
It’s a challenge, isn’t it?
The bad news is, I don’t have a “how to” list on what you can do to enter into true rest. But the good news is, sabbath rest is never far from reach. Jesus invites us to seek Him in our rest, saying “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30
You’ve got one more day this weekend.
Jesus is calling.
You can find rest.
And I hope you do, I hope we all do.