There’s an old saying, “Find time to rest or your body will make you.” Over and over again, I’ve found this to be true. The world never sleeps and most nights, neither did I.
I vividly recall seasons of overwhelm, anxiety, and exhaustion. Pushing myself to the edge of collapse chasing after worldly goals of prestige and financial wealth. Ignoring the physical signs from my body and soul crying for rest.
Even still, a fainter cry from my spirit thirsty for God’s refreshing grace.
Then he told them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.”Mark 2:27
Sabbath (a day of complete rest from work following six days of labor) was established for us and modeled by God. We see the concept established in Genesis in the creation story (Gen 1:1 – 2:4). As time passes, we see that the Pharisees’ had lost touch with God’s intention behind the Sabbath. In Mark Chapter 2, we find Jesus and his disciples being accused of breaking the law by picking grain on the designated day of rest.
Jesus takes this opposition as an opportunity to teach two principles. One, the rules or law that the Pharisees observed were human made and burdensome. Two, we were not created to work without end. We were created to work and rest.
What about in periods of urgency? Doesn’t that impact rest? Not necessarily. Think of the actions following Jesus’ crucifixion. They knew they needed to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, but Sabbath was coming. When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1). They made preparations in advance and observed Sabbath. When Sabbath was over, they moved forward with intentional action.
As we transition into the holiday season, remember rest. Let’s be intentional to create boundaries. Use those margins to rest. There will still be time to enjoy the season and fellowship with others. When we wholeheartedly embrace the Sabbath, we can find the balance we crave.