#2: Rest.

One thing I really struggle with is not resting. Yet, that is one of God’s commandments. He created rest on the 7th day “On the Seventh day He [God] rested”–Genesis 2:2.

I try to take Sundays from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday as my day of rest. Sometimes, because of my shifts, it’s just Sunday worship in the morning til after youth group that evening. I’ve heard a lot of emphasis put recently on the Sabbath… that it should be out of our rest that we work, not the burn out of work that we rest.

This week is crazy busy regarding school. I am so thankful for the rest I had on Sunday. It was a wonderful morning of worship and church with Stephen, lunch with my family, games with them, and shopping with the Crossroads Student Ministry. This is how I celebrated the Sabbath yesterday. All of which I am incredibly thankful for. Those are the things that energize me.

I remember a number of months ago lying down in complete physical and emotional exhaustion and asking God to give me peace and rest. Instantly I saw him on the cross, looking down on me, saying “I already have.”

The story of the 7th day in Genesis continues on in verse three to say that “God blessed the Seventh day and made it holy.” Not only is rest holy, but it is blessed and we are blessed through it.

Yesterday I felt that blessing. And it continues on into the week, as we continue in the Spirit of the Sabbath, in the blessing, in the rest, in the hands of God. He’s given us rest and it is holy, we need only take it.

No doubt I have a long ways to go in learning to accept, use, and enact this blessing of God. But may I begin it with gratitude. And to initiate my original plan of saying how I will USE the gift to bless others–simply this: I acknowledge that I cannot bless others with the love and patience and grace of the Lord if I have not rested myself. I cannot give to Jesus nor to others my very best if I have not rested.

“Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy”–Exodus 20:8

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Pause.

“But Jesus was sleeping”. . . Matthew 8:24.

An interesting part about Jesus, especially his humanity, he slept at odd times. In Matthew 8, Jesus has cast out demons, called people to follow him, and healed a paralyzed man as well as a leper. Then he and his disciples get in a boat. And a storm is brewing. Huge gusts of wind, gallons of water sweeping over into the boat. . . “But Jesus was sleeping.”

This startles me. He was asleep? In a time like this? I’m sure his disciples were thinking the same thing. Really Jesus? You’re going to sleep? But I think when Jesus got tired, he slept. It sounds obvious, but I think we oftentimes work like it’s the only thing that matters. We wear ourselves out. I know I have a tendency to do this.

God invented the weekend–the Sabbath. He created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day, he just rested.

Jesus took breaks. Just when he would be doing the coolest things, healing, preaching, teaching parables, he’d just stop; it seems so sudden. He would go off alone to pray.

Sometimes I spend so much time trying to do things for God, and talk about God, and think about scripture I forget to just be with God and talk to God and read scripture.

So instead of over-speculating all these thoughts, and trying to write something just-so, I believe I will go pray.

Happy Sabbath.