Take a Rest

We all need rest. God commanded Israel to "remember the Sabbath" (Exodus 20:8). As we read through the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament) and the rest of OT, we see that a key part of the Sabbath was not working, not striving to get things done. Hard for a "Type A" personality like me, and many of you.

But a Sabbath rest is not just about doing nothing. Rest is about trusting God with all those things on our to-do lists. Rest is about being able to sit back and give God glory for all that He has done. I think that's what God did on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). The Lord was setting a model of what it looks like to be satisfied in His own creative, redemptive, and sovereign work.

I'm not good at this. I struggle to lead my family in Living Out the Sabbath. I'm not good at being intentional in my own Sabbath rests.Which all is the equivalent of saying, "I'm not intentional to worship God."

Rest doesn't just happen. Rest is a purposeful activity. Even more, rest is an attitude of the heart.

In 2008, less than 2 years into my job as Pastor of Children & Families, Joanna and I were able to go on a week-long pastors retreat, sponsored by the Pastors Retreat Network. It wasn't a pastors conference, with an agenda of speakers and break-out sessions. The purpose was to rest in God.

It was just what I needed for personal refreshment and for spiritual rejuvenation. With the time difference (Central time) and me being a natural early-riser, I was awake by 5 AM with no alarm clock. I usually had about 2 hours by myself -- with coffee, fruit, my Bible, my journal, a book, and a pen. Two solid hours of silence, 2 hours with God. I never had a week like that before, and haven't since.

I'm looking forward to an upcoming leadership retreat with our church. It won't be pure rest, as we will have teaching and break-outs. But it will have times of rest and times of community, both of which will restore life to my soul.

As parents, we need intentional times of Sabbath rests. We rightly pour ourselves out, but we need to regularly be filled back up by the Spirit of God.

When is the last time you had an purposeful and meaningful time of rest? If it's been too long (as it has with me), be sure to plan one in the next few months.

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image courtesy of xlibber via flickr

    1 comment:

    1. I look forward to trusting today, that is, as you say, what it's about. Hope you had a good run yesterday!

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