“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV
God had created literally everything; the seas, the heavens, the earth, the mountains, the deserts, the trees and plants, the birds, the fish, the animals, the creepy crawlies, and man and woman. Then God rested. Our rock, our all-powerful, loving, mighty, perfect, indescribable, awesome God … rested.
God declared this day holy, He sanctified it, He blessed it, He set it aside as a day of rest for all the earth. If God needed and took a day of rest, so should we, His created. God knew that rest, “down-time”, was important and necessary. We use this day as first, a day of worship and praise to the Lord, then a day to rest from all our work and duties.
I confess that we didn’t always “keep the sabbath” as we should. We went to church, we took our kids to the park or the playground, but if we had things “we had to do”, my husband and I did them, even on a Sunday (the Christian sabbath). But since our retirement and move to the foothills of Virginia, we try very hard to obey God’s command, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” Exodus 20:8-10a NKJV
We go to church and to Sunday school, to sing praises the Lord, to delve into His Word, to fellowship with other believers and then we joyfully embrace the time that God has given us for rest. It is amazing how our attitudes and stress levels have been amended, changed. We make a conscious effort to rest on Sunday afternoons and evenings.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the pond with the dogs. Our neighbors dropped by for a visit and fellowship. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company and relaxed in the marvelous creation of our Lord. We attended, what one of our friends loving calls, “big church”, God’s created world. We watched clouds creep across the heavens, we laughed as the trout jumped in the pond, we listened to the birds’ songs of praise, we felt the breeze play among the trees and brush our faces, and we rested thankfully in the Lord on His glorious day!
This Sunday, resolve to lay aside your work and your worry about work. Seize the Lord’s day of rest; you don’t have to be in church to sing His praises and to read His Word. Find a quiet, peaceful place outside in “big church” and enjoy the time with your Lord. Rest in the Lord and regain your strength, your priorities, your peace, your joy, and your relationship with your Lord.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we make the time to rest in the Lord.
Blessings and rest!