A Day Off
Do you ever feel that if you are asked to do one more thing you will physically combust? I’ve definitely had those moments.
I recently read an article about the exhausted American workforce. It mentioned a young working mother who was stretched so thin that she always entered the cook time on the microwave as 1:11, 2:22, or 3:33, instead of 1:00, 2:00, or 3:00. Hitting the same key repeatedly saved her time.¹
Yowser! That is one stretched-thin woman!
And she isn’t alone. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, What a great idea! I think I’ll start cooking like that! I hope you don’t feel that pressed for time, but even if you don’t, you’re probably still overworked and deeply tired.
What if I could give you a day off? Not just from work but also from the burdens of your soul, to-do lists, and “should’ve”s? What if I said that, as a bonus, you had permission to shut out all the voices that are screaming at you to buy more, do more, be more?
The only thing for you to do on this day would be to rest in God’s presence and hear from Him how much He loves you. You would spend quiet time with Him, worship Him, and get outside. You would spend quality time with your family and friends, maybe share a great meal together and linger at the table. At the end of this beautiful day of recharging, you would find your strength and courage renewed for the week ahead.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But it isn’t a dream. It’s called the Sabbath. As a culture, we’ve gotten away from observing the Sabbath. Maybe it was because some of us grew up under a legalistic observation of it. I understand. I’m certainly not suggesting legalism. God never meant for the Sabbath to be a burden.
But we miss something when we completely dismiss it. Without this special time set apart to be with God and hear from Him, our hearts grow dry and weary. One Jewish theologian said it beautifully: “Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profits from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.”²
Reconsider God’s gift of Sabbath. You may feel like you’ll be endlessly behind if you take this time away from your responsibilities, but I promise you that a recharging takes place when you observe the Sabbath — a recharging that simply doesn’t happen any other way.
God gave you the gift of the Sabbath because He loves you. I think it’s time to open that gift!
Spirit, help me observe a Sabbath — in a step of faith that things that need to get done will get done.
Five Minutes in the Word
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither. – Psalm 1:2-3 NKJV
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for He grants sleep to those He loves. – Psalm 127:2
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. – Deuteronomy 5:12
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. – Psalm 62:5-8
Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. – Luke 12:15
- Rebecca J. Rosen, “America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, and Totally Exhausted,” The Atlantic, March 25, 2014, http://www. theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/03/americas-workers-stressed-out-overwhelmed-totally-exhausted/284615/.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1979), 13.
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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Do you need a day off? A day away from all the phonecalls, responsibility, pressure, deadlines, and laundry? What would be the most restful think you could think of doing with the Lord by your side? Enjoying the beach? A picnic with friends? An art exhibit? A bar-b-que with family or neighbors? What refuels you? Why not plan for a Sabbath day right now? Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily
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