What has filled your “rest” these days?

The question of “rest” is in quotations because there is a rest that leaves us satisfied and another that leaves us empty. What we turn to when we have time to rest may not be bad in itself. However, what you more often turn to will determine whether you will be satisfied or emptied.

Sabbath is a Hebrew word meaning “to cease, to rest.” It’s one of the 10 Commandments in the Bible. But the meaning of Sabbath is found more in its purpose rather than its form. We can begin to see this through Jesus as he clarifies for us about Sabbath when he said that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) as a response to the attacks against him performing miracles and doing ministry on the Sabbath and when Jesus says his accusers were condemning the guiltless because they did not know what God means when he said, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 12:7) when his disciples were plucking heads of grain to eat on the Sabbath.

Sabbath was a gift from God so that we could intentionally be united with God, with creation and with each other as was intended in creation. The true rest comes not in us ceasing to work but as we restore our life purpose in that rest. Sunday worship isn’t automatically Sabbath. Being bound by the law and by religion means you simply take the form but have no substance. Sabbath, true rest, is found when we are led closer to Jesus.

This is why some people will go on a few weeks of vacation only to return drained and in need of a vacation from vacation while others will wrestle all night with God and find purpose and meaning in every moment of their day. When we rest in God, even our serving can become our Sabbath because it joins our heart with God’s heart and restores our life purpose in creation. But if we don’t have Sabbath, even our rest becomes work.

Take time each day to find Sabbath and learn to set apart the Lord’s day to Sabbath well and it will become your anchor when the waves of life crash on you.