Sabbath: Incorporating Sabbath into the Rush of a Busy Life

BY ANGELIA CORNATZER

Through the Bible we see time and time again themes and rhythms of life. We see patterns of the way God works. We see God’s character and God’s intentionality. We see the way God created us and intends for us to live. We also see the way we break that intentional design over and over. After that, we see God’s redemption, restoration, and faithfulness, no matter how much we mess it up. All these rhythms started back in the beginning in Genesis, when we see how God creates the world. Through the creation story, we see God at work in intentional design. On the seventh day, we can notice that God did something totally different from each of the other days. We see God rest. This was day seven. We can identify in the Bible that there are patterns, and the number seven is one of those patterns. In Hebrew, the number seven represents completeness. 

“2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”  ~ Genesis 2:2-3

The Bible Project said this when teaching about the Sabbath, “We find ourselves working endlessly, fighting back chaos with no real rest.” How much can we all relate to that? 

Some Hebrew words we can look at give us a better understanding of the Sabbath. The word Shabbat is Hebrew and means “to rest from work,” and the word Nuakh is Hebrew and means “to dwell.” These two words, when combined, lead us to a deep definition of the intended sabbath: to rest from work and to dwell with God.

“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.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30

If you are anything like me, my planner is filled up weeks in advance. If there is a slot of time open in my day, I fill it with something. I can be so proactive about planning things for work, but why don’t I plan that much to dwell with God? I can be so productive, but where does my strength come from?

One of the best things I have ever learned was from a friend in college who told me how they observed a sabbath in everyday life. This friend told me that each week they would schedule a day or half of a day, turn their phone off, and have a sabbath. Uninterrupted and intentional time with God. 

Taking intentional time to come to God, rest in God, dwell with God, and rest from work is such a rich, refreshing, and beautiful opportunity that we each have. We are so quick to fill up our lives with to-do’s and dinner parties, but where is our sabbath? We are created to step into this time of rest and dwelling with God; we can’t function well without it! 

I challenge us all to schedule a sabbath this week. Maybe it would look like a couple of hours of protected intentional and uninterrupted time with God on Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon, or Tuesday evening. This can be something you do on your own or with your whole family! Get creative with it. Maybe you spend time in awe of God’s creation in nature, praising God through songs of worship, reciting prayers to the Lord, or sitting in silence and listening for His voice. Our creator knows us best, because He created us. He wants us to spend time with Him, for that is where we find true rest. 

 

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