Sabbath Rest: Finding Your Rhythm of Rest
by Marilynn Chadwick
Are you feeling tired today? Maybe you worked late, slept poorly, tried to juggle too many tasks, attempted to solve too many problems, took on too much responsibility for everything and everybody around you. It seems you’re not alone. America is a nation obsessed with rest—or the lack of it.
At my children’s high school one year, teachers sent home a disturbing article about sleep deprived teenagers. Researchers are telling us that people now fantasize about sleep! It seems the average person is very, very tired. You may be working harder, running faster, accomplishing more and more…but who’s watching out for your soul?
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I’ve been drawn to Jesus’s promise of rest after observing some very “exhausted souls” lately. Exhaustion can manifest itself as anxiety, depression, illness, addiction, or even self-destructive behaviors. This has left me thinking. Why are so many people crashing and burning?
What would happen if we revived the spiritual practice of Sabbath-keeping? I wonder if Sabbath—in whatever ways we choose to practice it—might help set us free from the weight of unhealthy expectations and lessen the anxieties of fast-paced living? Since the time of ancient Israel, Sabbath-keeping has been a life-giving gift of God.
Sabbath was meant to refresh our relationship with God and one another. For the next several days, we’ll explore the biblical and practical foundations of Sabbath-keeping. How does this once-a-week gift of rest bring peace to those who embrace it? How is Sabbath woven into God’s covenant with Israel? What significance does it have for Christians today? We’ll also explore some practical ways we can experience the rest of Sabbath in a busy, noisy world.