Sabbath. That one word brings peace and rest to my often-weary soul.
I grew up in a home that celebrated Sabbath from sundown to sundown, a 24-hour period of time. It was time we set apart each week for worship with our church family, fellowship with our friends and family, and enjoyment of God’s creation. I loved Sabbath as a kid, but it wasn’t until college that I truly valued the principle that God laid out in the fourth commandment.
The fourth commandment begins with the word “remember.”
Unlike the other commandments that begin with “you shall …”, I believe the fourth commandment is God’s invitation to us to focus on the significance of the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship.
Exodus 20:9 goes on to say that we have six days to do our work, but the seventh day of the week is God’s day—the Sabbath. On that day we are to set aside our work and spend time with God, just as He did after Creation. In six days God made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day, He rested from His labor. Although the Bible doesn’t specifically say, I’m sure He spent time in the garden with Adam and Eve that first Sabbath, drinking in the beauty of creation and enjoying the sweet time of companionship with His friends.
Rewind to my freshman year of college. I was on my own and free to make my own decisions about my relationship with God. I was homesick and slightly overwhelmed with living in a dorm and managing a full class load. As Sabbath rolled around each week, a peace would settle over me as I would put away my books, stop my chores, and dismiss work for 24 precious hours. Each week, regardless of how many deadlines were breathing down my neck, I intentionally shifted my focus away from my to-do-list to spend time with my heavenly Father and my friends.
Those 24 hours rejuvenated me and gave me the energy I needed to tackle another week of classes and work.
To this day, I still keep the Sabbath, and my husband and I have raised our kids to do so as well. For us, it is an act of obedience to what we believe the Bible says about the importance of God’s holy day, but in addition, it creates space in our lives and a chance to breathe.God didn’t intend for us to be running through the maze of life, trying to push the right buttons to get a reward.Click To Tweet
And yet, how often do we get stuck on the hamster wheel, unsure of how to get off? So we just keep running, figuring that one of these days things will slow down. But the truth is that things never slow down, and even if they do, we are good at picking up another activity to fill the gap that the last one left. Especially for those of us who are moms, the list is never-ending: chores, work, meals, soccer practice and games, piano lessons, homework, drama club, church choir, youth group meetings, gymnastics, and on and on.
I believe God knew the struggle we would face and the pull we would feel from the world with all of its responsibilities and activities.
Thus, He built Sabbath into our weekly schedule.
Instituted from the beginning of creation with our best interest in mind, God has given us a day of rest, a day set aside for communion with Him, and a day to put our daily activities on the back burner.
What would you do with 24 hours?
Could you try resting from your daily grind and giving a whole day to God?
You won’t be disappointed.