Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
After a busy Thanksgiving, taking relatives to the airport, and doing some holiday shopping, my husband, older daughter and I took a day off from all the busyness and played golf. I suppose you could call what I played “golf” even though it didn’t go so well! But it was nice to get out with them and enjoy a relaxing, beautiful day.
For a long time, I struggled with resting. With just doing something fun that had no goal. Before kids, my husband and I would spend Saturday running around doing errands. Come Sunday I would start stressing out about Monday’s workload! When my kids were younger, we always had sports on the weekends with tournaments lasting from Thursday until Sunday afternoon. These last couple of years I’ve finally taken to heart the idea of resting. Resting and enjoying all the blessings that God has gifted us.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2
Toiling and striving and anxiously lying awake thinking about how we can toil some more the next day! It’s not good for our health and it’s not the life God intended for us. It’s so sad that two major companies in the United States who made the choice to stay closed on Sundays have received so much grief for that decision. But the leaders of those companies are Christians who take the message and gift of the Sabbath to heart.
I still catch myself feeling guilty for resting. I have to remind myself that it’s not a luxury. It’s a requirement by God. Whether we are rich or poor, with children or not, retired or still working, God wants us to be rested, ready to do His good works when needed.
I’m so thankful for this gift of rest. It shows how much God loves us and wants the best for us. He wants us to be recharged and energized followers of Jesus. Not burned out, overworked, stressed and therefore unable to see how beautiful this world is He created. Unable to stop and help someone in need. So today on this Sabbath day take this gift of rest freely. Take time for yourself and enjoy.