“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3, ESV)

Do you have a “usual” Sunday schedule? Mine begins with spending time in the house of God (a priority), followed by a good meal, and then an afternoon nap. Sometimes my day will include relaxing and chatting with a friend, either in person or by phone. I try to make Sunday “a day of rest” — a disconnect from the busyness of the week.

While we call it “the day of rest,” often it isn’t restful at all. Some use Sunday as a time to catch up on errands or to do household chores before the start of a new week? We fill it with activity, not reflection and relaxation.

God instituted the sabbath as a holy day, a day to cease work and rest. When the Bible tells us in Genesis 2 that God rested on the seventh day of creation, it wasn’t because He was tired. He provided an example to follow. The word sabbath derives from the Hebrew word shabbat, which means to cease or to stop. This signifies that creation was completed, finished.

In Exodus 20, God delivered the Ten Commandments on Sinai. One of those commandments says we must, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (verse 9). The passage goes on to say:

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, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” (Exodus 20:9-10, ESV)

The sabbath was for everyone, even the livestock. Strange? Not really. Exodus 23:11 tells us that even the ground requires rest to replenish itself.

The sabbath is God’s gift to us, allowing our spirits, our minds, and our bodies to unwind and relax from the busyness and stresses of everyday life. Even during our busiest seasons of life, God still wants us to set aside a day for rest. We see this in Exodus 34:21.

“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.” (ESV)

Do you feel guilty if you aren’t constantly busy? Are you a workaholic who always “needs to be doing something”? Do you find it difficult to relax?  Consider this. If God commanded us to rest, it is important! Otherwise, we will begin to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. When we are stressed, it’s difficult to handle situations calmly or to make good decisions. We need time to rest.

Here are just a few ways we can use our day to enjoy time with God and with our loved ones. We also need to designate some alone time just to unwind and refresh.

  • Reflect – Take time to worship and bask in God’s presence. Reflect on His goodness and mercy and offer Him thanks. God should be our priority.
  • Reconnect – After spending quality time with God, enjoy time with family and friends. (Hint: You may need to disconnect from media to reconnect with others.)
  • Refresh/Relax – Use this window of time to slow down. Allow your mind and body to rest and destress. Take a walk. Read a book. Take a nap. Listen to music. Do a jigsaw puzzle.

  • Reset –Check your focus to be sure you are devoting your time and energy to the things that are important.

It’s Sunday. Let this be a special day, a God-ordained holy day, for you. Make it a day of reflection, prayer, and family time. God gifted you this time for rest.

Lord, thank You for gifting us with a day of rest. Help me to use this time to connect with You, with my church family, and with my loved ones at home. When I become too busy and too stressed, remind me that it’s okay to slow down and allow my body and spirit to be renewed. You showed us the importance of rest.

Is it really that important that we take a day to rest and refocus? In the Comments section let us know if/how you use Sundays to rest and reflect. Or are you a workaholic who has trouble slowing down and relaxing? How can you change this?

 

Author

Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle

    Thank you for sharing this, what a great reminder that God Himself took time to rest. Early in the morning and in between a busy day I rest and sit on my recliner. That’s where I read my Bible and daily devotional or just sit and enjoy a good book in the middle of the day. I look forward to having some quiet time with the Lord where I can rest in His presence.