Studies reveal that 37 percent of Americans take fewer than seven days of vacation a year. In fact, only 14 percent take vacations that last longer than two weeks. Americans take the shortest paid vacations of anyone in the world. And 20 percent of those who do, often spend their vacation staying in touch with their jobs through their computers or phones. The point? Even when we do vacation, we do it poorly. But even if we did vacation well and took great amounts of time off for restorative rest, vacations are a poor substitute for a weekly day of Sabbath rest. I think the devil loves taking that which is of God and giving us cheap knockoffs. When God invents sugar, the devil makes Sweet’N Low.
I got this illustration from a website filled with illustrations (thepastorsworkshop.com). I think its fitting for this time of quarantine because, even with many of us having more time away from work, we’re not get our proper rest. Here we have an excellent time to exhale, but too many are not taking advantage of the time. Instead they dwell on what’s not getting done or how much better they could be spending their time if things went back to the time before the shutdown.
Make no mistake, the devil would love to bind you up in knots of stress as you worry about this and that, but what would God have you do with this opportunity? He calls you to, “Be still and know that I am God..” (Psalm 46:10a). Instead of fretting about things you cannot control, take this opportunity to rest a while. Know that God has this all under control as He has your very life. Trust in Him to make all things right again and try not to be anxious about all that could be getting done. Psalm 4:8 says, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” God’s got this!
From the beginning, God knew how important it was to take our Sabbath rest, it’s found in Exodus 20, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” There, you see? Even God took His Sabbath rest. He even called it holy.
So, as you get the opportunity, take time to rest. Exhale and let your body fine tune itself. Don’t feel bad about letting work go. Take time to enjoy the opportunity and find some silent time with God to thank Him for allowing you a chance to reset your clock. Worry and anxiety aren’t going to get you anywhere, but a soul well rested can do incredible things. Ready now?…breath in…..and slowly exhale. We’ll get through this. God is with us! Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, we too often forget that you are God and we are not. When things get overwhelming or when our routine is forced to change we panic and forget that You still remain, bigger than any problem we might face. Help us to rest during this time of quarantine and show us the way to bundle all that strife and stress we carry daily into a ball and place it at your feet as you have called us to do. Forgive us for not trusting in you during our stressful times and help us to rely on you as we take time to rest. Amen.