Rest, Reflect, Rejoice … Repeat
We are nearly halfway through January. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? That good, huh?
November and December were full of parties and celebrations, feasts and gifts. Our full hearts and bellies are stopped short in January like an icy blast to the face.
Back to work. No parties or breaks until … Valentine’s Day? That’s an awkward holiday to celebrate with anyone besides your spouse or family. Most people don’t get a vacation until spring break or summer. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but those are both a long way off.
Back to school. Many of you parents out there may be excited about having a quiet house again, but this means we’re back to homework, projects, packing lunches, taking and picking up kids. “Ugh” is all I can say to all of that.
Barren landscape. No more beautiful leaves and no flowers in sight for months. The only hope for beauty this time of year is when it snows. (Come on, snow days!)
Please don’t despair. There is hope.
We may have started off the year with a list of things we wanted to accomplish, new habits we wanted to put into practice, but in the midst of all of those new goals, don’t forget to rest.
Rest?! Who has time for rest? The answer is … God.
The Bible calls it the Sabbath. God Himself set the example. After six days of creating, what did He do?
“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” (Genesis 2:1-3 NLT)
What is a Sabbath?
A Sabbath is a day set aside for rest. Exodus 16:29 refers to it as the Lord’s gift. Our bodies need rest–time to recharge. Our minds need rest, as well–a time to let the hamster wheel stop spinning for a bit.
A Sabbath is a day set aside for reflection. “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31 NLT) At the end of six days of creating, God reflected. Looking back over the week is a handy tool for us. We can see the mistakes we’ve made, the sins we may have overlooked that we need to ask forgiveness for, and all the ways God has blessed us that we may have missed in our everyday rush.
A Sabbath is a day for rejoicing. It is a day set aside for the Lord. How can we turn our eyes on God without rejoicing in who He is and how He loves us? In pure gratitude, the least we can do is set aside one measly day for Him.
In the hustle of a new year, don’t forget to take the time to rest, reflect, and rejoice.