Monday, May 29, 2023

A Season of Rest

 By: Joanne Viola

 Happy Memorial Day!

We typically think of this day as the beginning of summer. The season to slow down, go on vacation, get rest, and take a break from our typical year long routines.

We can think of it as a sabbatical of sorts.

The things we do each day – our work – are good for us. We feel a sense of pride, accomplishment and productivity by accomplishing the tasks we do each day. God ordained for us to work:

  • “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28)
  • “fill the earth and subdue it”
  • "rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground”

We are even told in Genesis 2:15, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” In other words, God told man to work.

God clearly knew work would be good for us. He gave man his first job, if you will. Yet those extended periods of time, when we work hard and long days, causes us to long for “a day off”. We want – rest.

In Genesis 2, we are further told:

“By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done,
and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
(verses 2-3, NASB)

God Himself rested from His time of work. We, too, need a sabbatical, a time of rest.

Something happens to us as we sabbath, when we slow down – we recharge. We gain perspective. We withhold ourselves from the ordinary (workday) to treat ourselves to the extraordinary (worshiping God). These times of “sabbath” keep us from becoming unusable. It is how we are enabled to keep our game on. It is how we maintain our edge.

“Sabbath as that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing.”

(from The Pastors Guide to Personal Spiritual Formation, page 134)

We all need a change from our ordinary routines. May we take time this summer to rest. May we find ourselves refueled, motivated anew, refocused – usable in unique ways. May we take time to see what God is doing in our lives, in our families, in our churches, around us. May we see Him.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall …”

(Hebrews 4: 9-11a NASB)



What do you need to do to gain rest at this time?
How do you separate from the daily responsibilities in order to recharge?


Image by Petr Přeučil from Pixabay

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been able to find a routine for rest this year - I'm hoping to make space to sit on the porch to read a little, knit a little, have a little coffee - but my call to rest is happening differently. I'm finding myself going to our coffee shops and reading there. I think God has been changing up the places I've been catching my breath this year.


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