Ever feel this way? Ever say this in pride? I have and I am wrong.
Now, one thing our Yorkie, #MoDawg, (as he’s listed on my social media!) is good at since puppyhood…is rest!
He truly needs no help with this. And I could add quite a few more pictures to this post! In fact, every time I talk to him, he yawns just to prove he’s really tired! But humans tend to struggle much more in the area of rest.
My pastor shared recently on this topic from his own experience with busyness, even for good things, which led to major health issues. God got his attention and is teaching him about Sabbath rest, which as we know, is not Sunday for church staff! He will be teaching a series on this in the coming months and I can’t wait.
Now I am in a new season in life, having retired from full time vocational ministry two years ago. For the first time in 30+years I am getting plenty of sleep. For the first time in probably 40+ years I am experiencing a slower pace. So, I have Sabbath rest. Lots of it. But it wasn’t always that way.
I prided myself on multitasking…which, without a doubt is required for women! But sometimes I took it to the unhealthy extreme. This is something that I do not believe God requires, blesses, or honors!
One thing my pastor shared was how important it is to take a weekly sabbath rest. If not on Sunday, on another designated day. He even encouraged us to put away our technology on that day! That challenges me, even in my “retired” season of life!
What I’ve learned over the years is how to make a place for Sabbath in different ways in different life stages and different ministry seasons. As I worked full time in ministry, traveled with my work, ran a household, loved on kids, husband and grands, and even took care of an elderly mom, I sought and fought for a Sabbath space.
First of all, my time with the Lord each morning, was nonnegotiable. When I was in town, Saturday mornings were reserved for “deck time” in good weather. If not, sofa time in front of a fire! Most Saturdays I wouldn’t accept any other commitments knowing I needed this time to regroup and be with my husband. When on the road, I sought quiet times to pray before speaking. I would sleep a few extra minutes and eat breakfast in my room when possible since I’d rather sleep than eat! Another way I regrouped annually was by a restful week at the beach…no major plans or agenda…just rest, reflection, restoration and listening for the Lord’s messages.
God shows us the importance of rest and worship on the Sabbath as He completed creation as we read in Genesis 2:2:
On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
God didn’t need rest. He’s creator, all powerful God who never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4). But He showed us we DO need this.
We see this example as well through Christ. Jesus was not only God but also human, so He rested and took time to spend alone with His Father so He could complete His task. After an exhausting day of preaching, healing and casting out demons, we see in Mark 1:35 how He was able to do His work:
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.
Then He went to other villages to minister. We have very practical examples of healthy serving and healthy life through rest.
Running full force all the time will bring us to a place of burnout, and then, how well can we serve Him? We can’t finish our race well if all we do is sprint through life.
Ask God to show you how to make room for Sabbath as you obey His instructions for one day a week for rest. Ask Him how to carve out time daily to be quiet before the Lord.
If you are already taking Sabbath rest, how are you doing that? Please respond in the comments so we can learn from each other.
Resources to help: Breathe by Priscilla Shirer, The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero (Check out Pete Scazzero’s books on this topic too including The Emotionally Healthy Leader), Margin by Richard Swenson.