Hebrews 4:9 “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”
Ever since the world came to a screeching halt last March, I have been thinking a lot about rest and margin in my life. The global shut down caused by COVID-19 allowed me to see how busy life actually had become. With nowhere to go and no one to see, I had the chance to slow down – way down. I’m not saying that remote learning wasn’t stressful or that I wasn’t worried about what the future held. Our family had its share of fights and things were less than Instagram worthy most of the time. But there was space. There was margin. And there was rest.
Weekends with no scheduled activities meant board games and family movie nights and playing outside and hikes in the woods. I had time to read. I caught up on the laundry. Despite the stress of stay-at-home orders, I felt less frazzled. I rediscovered baking and got acquainted with my camera. I had time to start walking and then running (Well, jogging. Jogging slowly. A turtle could have outpaced me.)
Then fall came and school started again. I felt the space and the margin and the rest slowly consumed by the business of life again. Where is the balance, I wondered. How do we live and love and be a part of community while also finding time to rest and margin to follow the promptings of God?
The Israelites begin their Sabbath at sundown. Rather than rest being something that happens when they are already worn out and exhausted, they begin each Sabbath with rest. Family dinners prepared before sundown and then a night of sleep allow them to enjoy the following day free from labor. There is preparation and intentionality. And this mindset carries over into the rest of the week.
Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” That “rest for your souls” comes from remembering the Sabbath. It comes from carving out time to spend with God and to do the things that bring us rest. It requires some sacrifice, to be sure. Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Take some time to find what green pastures and still waters look like in your life. Then schedule time to find your rest.
What is one way you can Sabbath each week?
If you have visited the main office at LCA, you have probably seen Carrie Butler hard at work. In her free time, Carrie loves reading, hiking and photography. She uses her love of writing to encourage others in their walk with Jesus. You can contact Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org