Discovering True Rest from God

Exodus 28:8 ESV

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

At the beginning of June, I sat down with my teenage daughter to look over our schedules. During this conversation, we finalized her summer plans to attend a leadership camp along with planning an extended time to stay with her dad, who lives out of town. For the first time in her 16 years, I’d have over a month without full-time motherly duties. As a single mom, I knew without a doubt that I needed to utilize this time to draw closer to God. 

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time to rest and reflect seems almost next to impossible. However, the concept of the Sabbath, rooted deep in Scripture, has stood the test of time. Sabbath is the idea of taking a dedicated time of rest and spiritual renewal. So, why is it important to observe a Sabbath? And is it still relevant to do so today? In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of the Sabbath from the idea of physical, mental, and spiritual renewal. We will discover that true rest comes from God.

Remember the Sabbath

We see in Exodus 20: 8-11, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (ESV)  Our bodies need physical rest in order to preserve energy and replenish our strength. We are not meant to run through life at full speed like a hamster on a wheel. Eventually, the speed will catch up to us. 

In addition, with technology at our fingertips, our society is used to connecting with one another on a continual basis. This means our brains are continually analyzing, processing, and organizing information. Work can be done anywhere, with the advances in technology. For me, I realized that I needed to step away from social media for an extended time and discover activities that would bring me peace and joy. During this time, my goal was to focus solely on resting and recharging my soul. 

Finally, throughout Scripture, we also find references to the importance of rest and spiritual nourishment. Jesus himself set an example of withdrawing to quiet places to pray and recharge. In the New Testament, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Observing the Sabbath provides us with an opportunity to step away from the demands of daily life, fostering a deeper connection with God and rejuvenating our souls.

Engage in the Sabbath

For 21 days, I was able to engage in a summer sabbath. I took time to physically rest by having a few extra days off of work. During my time off, I participated in activities that revived my spirit. I was able to enjoy simply being in nature. Whatever it is that you enjoy, this is the perfect time to do so! 

I also made the decision to unplug from certain social media apps. Going offline on Facebook and Instagram helped me to enjoy life as it unfolded. I was no longer worried about capturing the next “post-worthy” photo. Instead, I could enjoy the simple beauty of my life without the need to compare. What would it look like for you to step away from social media for a week or two? 

In conclusion, we are not hard-wired to be like the “energizer bunny.” We cannot keep going, going, and going. At some point, our bodies will signal to us that it is time to rest. Jesus tells us to “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 ESV) Take time to discover true rest from God.

Call to Action

Incorporate a dedicated time of Sabbath. Aim for a half day or full day of resting from physical and mental labor.

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