Sunday, November 7, 2010

What God is Teaching Me: Remember the Sabbath

I have noticed over the past couple of months some things that God is doing in my life. While God is always working and teaching us new things as we seek to grow in Him, it has come to my attention that things He is currently developing in me are simple truths that I have overlooked or made too complicated in my early adult life so far.

One of these things is the importance of having a Sabbath. I used to guilt my way through a Sabbath day. I used to almost be mad at God for asking me to take a break from things when "I clearly have all this to get done, God! How the heck am I supposed to accomplish all this AND take a nap?!!? You just don't understand!!"

Then somewhere along the way, I came across the verse in Mark (2:27) that said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." I honestly don't remember what Bible Study I was a part of at the time, what we were studying, or the details of the situation, but that verse stood out to me like a sore thumb.


God did this for me?

He didn't do it to have one more rule for me to follow and/or continually break?

He was trying to make my life simpler not more complicated?

I had it all wrong. I thought observing the Sabbath was one more thing I had to get right to please God. Instead, God blessed us with a entire day to rest so that we could have the energy to accomplish the other things. He gave us the Sabbath as a gift, not a burden.

And then I came across this verse and it literally brought tears to my eyes:
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion..." - Isaiah 30:18

For so long I had thought of God is as a grumpy dictator that we continually fail in obediance and service. I pictured God as always upset with me, because I am always getting it wrong or messing things up.

But God longs to be gracious to us. He sent us his son to die for us. Because he loves us, he is LOOKING FOR WAYS to bless us and show us compassion. The Sabbath is just another one of those many ways.

So I have tried to be more intentional about setting aside one day on the weekend to rest. I've tried to get my schoolwork done on Saturday, so that I can have Sunday free to nap or read or have lunch with friends or enjoy my Bible Study. And it's been so nice! With all my work done on Saturday, Sunday is no longer an anxiety-ridden time when I scramble to make plans for the week. They are done. I can enjoy and relax. It REALLY IS a blessing.

Obviously I'm not perfect. It is a discipline that I'm learning and sometimes it doesn't work out. Sometimes I'm stubborn and still want to do it my way. But God is teaching me the beauty and importance of rest. I am a work in progress.

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