Imagine a world where you could truly rest because all was at peace. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I think it would have to include God Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth. God is eternal, but we live in time. The contrast is stark. And the seven-day week? That’s also a creation of God, with a day of rest available each and every week. God provided this Sabbath Day as a foretaste of heaven, a rhythm of work and rest—a routine to live as God intended.
During the week of Creation, God looked at all He made and said it was good. His creation of man and woman was deemed “very good.” But what about the seventh day? The Sabbath? He called that part of His creation “holy.” Then He told mankind to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
Do you find it hard to take a day of rest each week? If so, is it because you have so much to do that you just can’t afford to stop? Remember this as you “work” to remember the Sabbath: you don’t Sabbath because you finished your work. Your work will never be completed. Don’t think of the Sabbath as a reward for getting everything done. Think of it this way: work is not complete without rest. Work can be tiring. If you find yourself praying for rest, know that God has already provided via the Sabbath. It’s a gift, right there waiting for you.
And a Sabbath day of rest should not be a burden. It is meant to be a day of joy for you and everyone around you. But it is “work” to rest. And that work usually comes in the form of preparation. Hebrews 4:11 exhorts you to make every effort to enter His rest. Yet ironically, preparing for a Sabbath can be hard work. So it can be good to remember this: to keep a Sabbath is to be proactive, disciplined, and intentional. Yet we live in a 24/7/365 world. It is not your imagination. Just like the people in Amos 8:4–6, it seems as though everyone wants the Sabbath to end so we can get back to the work of selling our stuff.
So what does a Sabbath rest look like? The opposite of rest is not work, but restlessness. You can start by not doing what you would normally do as work the other six days of the week. But don’t go straight to the rules of how to properly Sabbath. You don’t need to have it all figured out. Just start. Stop doing and enjoy simply being. God’s presence cannot be fully enjoyed if you’re rushing here and there, from one appointment to the next. To do nothing requires great trust in God. To Sabbath is a way of accepting God’s sovereignty. So don’t put anything on your calendar for one day each week, trust God, and make rest a priority and routine in your life. In addition, to Sabbath helps you disconnect from technology and reconnect with people. Think of Sabbath as being in airplane mode. And your aim should be to get outdoors into some natural light and away from all the blue and artificial light.
Yes, the Sabbath is weird. If you practice a Sabbath, it makes you weird. A.J. Swoboda, the author of Subversive Sabbath, challenges us to keep it that way.
Here’s some good news about the Sabbath. It’s not just for the privileged few. It is for everyone—rich and poor, young and old, man and woman, tall and short, dark-skinned and light-skinned—literally, everyone. If you are new to taking a day each week to rest, know that you probably won’t do it perfectly at first. But once you’ve started, you won’t want to stop this wonderful life-giving routine.
Here’s more to remember. You enter the Sabbath, you don’t create it. It’s already there, prepared for you, always available once every seven days. Be still, fall in love with God, and let Him show you the way to perfect peace and rest.
Dear Father in Heaven,
I am tired and weary. I know I need to rest. Thank You for providing exactly what I need. Now help me remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Let me make it a habit to enter Your perfect peace and rest for one day each week. I know the Sabbath is a wonderful gift from You with many benefits for me, but let my main motivation be to trust, obey, and simply be in Your presence.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation- based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of five illustrated children’s books designed to help parents instill a biblical worldview in the hearts and minds of their preschoolers. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! You can hear more of what he has to say at the Let’s Talk Homeschool Podcast.
© 2021 Davis Carman