He said to do it. He even blessed it. Back before the Fall and before the Law, He told us to do it. His doing it Himself convinced me that it was something I should be doing. Yet I struggle with observing the Sabbath. There is a battle storming between my flesh and spirit…
Rationally I am convinced that I need to rest on the Sabbath. I am fully aware of the physiologic benefits of cycling through periods of exertion and rest. It makes us more efficient, and we are healthier when alternating our working and resting. I truly believe God planned this for our best good. For my best good.
Then why the struggle?
In the midst of the day’s work, I vacillate between sincerely desiring to ‘work heartily as unto the Lord’ and having my body piercingly scream for rest. I need stillness. In the midst of the pressures and stress of daily living my spirit quietly whimpers for a reprieve. I need peace. In the flurry of activity a fleeting, over-the-shoulder glance at my Bible does not suffice. I need intimacy.
When the preparation day arrives, I am not ready. I do not want to stop striving toward my own purposes. Although His yoke is easy and His burden is light my To-Do list is never finished and my labor never completed. In my flesh there is no desire to leave off my agenda and prepare for that to which I know He is calling me. He whispers while my list shrieks. On the Sabbath, my list mocks me, taunting me with the alleged ‘wasted time’.
I have to remind myself (a thousand times a day if needed) that this is a day blessed and sanctified by Him for me. My Jesus is Lord of this day, and whatever it takes to enter into this small taste of that forever-rest is worth doing. There is no righteousness attached to this day-my Lord took care of my righteousness once and for all at the Cross.
But the blessings are infinite…Stillness. Peace. Intimacy. Rest.