Holy Rest

Rest is holy.
That is a difficult concept at times for this multi-tasking mama! Most of my life I thought that my worth and value was directly related to my contribution to the world- be it through my performance as a mom, a wife, a friend, an employee, a volunteer, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, and you can insert any other role here that I have played and forgotten about…and it wasn’t until my illness and subsequent inability (at different points since my diagnosis) to do any of those things that God has taught me the meaning of my true worth. We are valuable simply because we were worth dying for. We are valuable simply because God loves us and chose us as His own. It is not my job to be valuable or to set out on a quest to become more valuable. It is simply my job to accept that I am valuable to God, no matter what. What a gift.
And, we are so valuable to Him that he wants us to rest. From the beginning of time, He designated a day to set aside for resting- the Sabbath. I am not speaking of a legalistic day where no work can be performed; neither do I desire to to argue about what day God intended Sabbath to be observed. I am talking about “the Sabbath” that is spoken of in Isaiah 58.
If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. The mouth of the Lord has spoken. (verses 13-14).
God made it clear throughout the Old and New Testament, in passages such as these, the importance He places on rest. The Hebrew word for Sabbath is “Shabbath” meaning to rest from labor. The word rest basically means the cessation of activity. It’s funny to me how so many thousands of years ago, God knew that this world was just going to keep getting busier and busier and that, in order for his people to maintain their closeness to him and with fellow believers, they would need a day to rest. To cease the mundane activities that distract us. To pause and spend time with the one who gives us life.
We are to call the Sabbath a delight. The Message Bible refers to it as “a day of joy” in this passage. God wants us to find joy in spending time in His word, fellowshiping with other believers, refilling our spiritual cups. Focusing on who and what is truly important- our Heavenly Father and our relationship with Him.
This passage in Isaiah also offers a promise. There are many times that God uses the “then” proposal with us in his word. If you do this then I will do this. Can it get any easier to understand than that? God is literally telling us how to find our joy in Him and explaining the benefits of listening to his will in our lives in the “then” scriptures.
So, do you have a sabbath? Do you find time for holy rest amongst the chaos and multi-tasking of life? Do you set aside weekly time to let God fill your cup and meet your needs? It is so worth it. Starting my week off with a full cup is such a contrast to those times that I let something else sneak in and steal my sabbath. Join with me and call the sabbath a delight- rest and focus on our Lord.

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