“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” ~ St. Augustine
Have you ever taken a sabbatical? A period of time when you intentionally break away from all the things that consume your time, energy and life, to recharge and regain a new perspective. We all need sabbaticals, periods of rest from the things that deplete us every day.
The sacredness of rest remains even when we’re too busy to notice it. The need for us to slow down, break away, pause and have periods of peace, allowing our body, mind and spirit to recover is the way we were designed. We must have opportunities to heal.
The RE in Rest.
“Rest is not simply pushing the pause button on your day. Rest is not merely taking a break. Rest is about replenishing, restoring, renewing, recovering, rebuilding, regenerating, remolding, and repairing. Rest begins with the prefix re- because it requires us to go back to a prior state. It is an opportunity to put back in order anything that has shifted out of alignment with God’s best.” ~ Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, “Sacred Rest”.
We often view life as if looking through the window of a fast-moving vehicle. Rest challenges you to shift from having the scenery of your life fly by in a blur to take it all in and experience it.
It forces you to stop, slow down and fully live. It causes you to look deeper at yourself and the life you’re living. It implores you to be still and seek to know God.
Healing occurs when we allow ourselves the time, space and grace to be in the presence of God in the middle of our busy lives.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” ~ Genesis 2:2-3 (NLT)
There’s no better example of the need for rest than the fact that if God who is infinite, rested from his works of creation, then we who are finite beings must also rest from our works and busy lives.
Jesus, who was God in human form, took time to rest from his ministry to others. He frequently went to a place of solitude to pray and reconnect with his Heavenly Father. And he encouraged his disciples to break away from the crowds and go to a place of solitude, where they could recharge.
So, we must work hard to rest well because we were made for Sabbath. We were made for God’s rest.
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.” ~ Hebrews 4:11 (NIV)
The word Sabbath is from the Hebrew word Shabbat. Which literally means “to stop”. The Sabbath is simply a day to stop whatever we’re doing and rest.
“Sabbath is more than just a day; it a way of being in the world. It’s a spirit of restfulness that comes from abiding, from living in the Father’s loving presence all week long.” ~ John Comer, “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry”.
There is a discipline to the Sabbath that is really hard for a lot of us. It takes a lot of intentionality. It won’t just happen to you. It takes planning and preparation. It takes self-control and the capacity to say no to a list of good things, so you can say yes to the best.
Sabbath is the primary practice by which we cultivate the spirit of restfulness in our lives every day.
Rest is a complete trust in the Sovereignty of GOD who charts the course of our lives with love and good intentions, in spite of our own plans. “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
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