Taking Time for Extravagant Sabbath Rest
Today, was a day of extravagant rest. It was a day of lounging and eating delicious food and meaningless driving that was filled with meaningful conversation.
It was a day of idleness, but a day that left ready to face a new day. A day that gave me space to plan and dream and embrace the life I’ve been given.
While others were beginning new goals and starting weight loss challenges, I ate a giant plate of nachos and binged watched movies with my husband. But somewhere in the snuggles with dogs and vicariously living through an epic saga of courage in the face of trials, I breathed a deep sigh of relief and readied my heart to take on the new week.
Because the work of rest is indeed work. And that is why it has been commanded.The work of rest is indeed work. And that is why it has been commanded. Click To Tweet
God gives us rest, not as a burden, but because He knows we are prone to neglect it. We are prone to just get one more task done, to get a jump start, to fill every day and moment. But we need to disconnect from our work, to embrace the beauty of our world and indulge in the things that make us smile.
Today, that looked like driving around and enjoying the last remnants of the Christmas lights in a nearby neighborhood. It looked like dreaming of a future home and the celebrations it would hold. It looks like an indulgence that filled my soul.
The goodness of God, seen in the common grace of friendship, storytelling, and Christmas lights, has given me a new view of the life that God is calling me to live.
And so tomorrow, I will embrace the work with a renewed vision.
I will set my hands to each and every task I’ve been given, striving to accomplish it in its proper time so that I may also rest in its proper time.
Work will be here, day after day, but taking time to rest reminds me that the work does not depend on me, it is fulfilled by God. Because when I work without rest, I communicate to myself and to those around me that I am more necessary than God, who took a day to rest and saw that it was good.When I work without rest, I communicate to myself and to those around me that I am more necessary than God, who took a day to rest and saw that it was good. Click To Tweet
If God can take a day to rest and tells us to do that same, it is clear that our work can wait.
If it feels too pressing, if we think it cannot wait, we must assume that we are filling ourselves to a larger capacity than we were created to bear.
So work to the tasks God has given you. Embrace them wholeheartedly as if each task if you’re offering up each task to God, but don’t forget to embrace Sabbath rest. God has given you rest, in the sacred and in the holy, ordinary graces, to fill up your soul and cause you to marvel at the beautify of the world.
Because that’s what rest it, looking at God’s work and calling it good. That is what He did on the first Sabbath, after the creation of the world, and that is what our rest should cause us to do. Whether you’re lost in the complexity of human nature as portrayed in a good book, the joy seen in a child’s laughter, or the majesty of the sky as seen in a sunset, rest should lead to praise.
Our God is good, and rest is part of His goodness towards us.
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I think people have a difficult defining what “rest” is in this busy world nowadays. I think it’s literally anything that’s not the work you do for a living — so exercising can be a form of rest, since it’s taking care of your body in the same way that actual physical rest helps you recover from that exercise.
I would agree, Colleen. I think rest is different for each person but it’s stepping away from our normal work to set apart a day of recovery.
Ah rest is so glorious and you’ve captured it excellently. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I need from rest: practicing creativity, lovely aesthetics like a cozy blanket or beautiful winery, and letting myself do nothing.
Such a good reminder of the importance of rest and that our all-knowing God knew it would be difficult for us.
Isn’t it crazy how much of a struggle it is for us to take God’s commandment to rest seriously?
I know this article and most of the comments are not recent, but I just felt compelled to express my appreciation for the article and to say how much I agree with the replies. Everyone is spot on! I’ve been on a continuous journey the past few years to incorporate not just more rest, but to also embrace, respect, ane develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of The Sabbath and how important it is in God’s eyes. Blessings ❤
It’s so true that rest is part of God’s goodness. If we remember this truth we won’t feel so guilty about taking much needed breaks!