How ‘keeping the Sabbath Holy’ can actually help you, not just because the Bible says so

Ever feel like taking a break? Tired of being overwhelmed? Well, there’s a reason for that. God, our Creator, did not make us to be like little Energizer bunny who just keeps going, and going, and going.

It would be nice to have that kind of endless energy but God made us to need rest. Just as our bodies are prone to thirst and get hungry, he has provided a way to get rest. Even with all of the nutritional information we have to properly fuel our bodies, there is no substitute for getting rest.

The first way he did this was by giving us the Sabbath Day. In fact, so important is it that God even made it one of the Ten Commandments. On that day, which most Christians recognize to be Sunday, God’s people are to treat that day with special care. Above all things, people are to gather together and worship him with fellow believers. But in addition to that, it is to be a day when we…wait for it… wait for it…. you don’t work! He has given us six days in which to do all our work and labor, but that seventh day we are to walk away from it all, worship Him and rest! Can you believe that? A command to rest!

Can you imagine how nice it would be if your boss at work came in one day, lets say a Monday, and then just told you “You know, I think you are working too hard. Why not take the day off and go to the golf course, my treat?” How good would you feel? Yet, sometimes we forget to be good to ourselves, and then it becomes to easy to become burnt out quickly.

Often times my weeks get very busy and from time to time even my Saturdays are consumed with various demands. I also love the look or a nicely mowed lawn. Seeing the lines from the mower and the crisp, same length grass bring a funny joy to my heart. But I won’t cut the grass on Sunday because God has told me to rest. I’ll make sure I get it done on Saturday, so then I can get a full day of rest on Sunday.

There were periods even during the ministry of Jesus when he would stop, steal away to the quiet mountain area, rest and pray. Sometimes he would take some, not all, of the disciples with him that not only would he spend special time with them but teach them this valuable lesson. He left the clamoring crowds, yes even the sick who were in need of healing. There will always be those who need your help, always. There will always be one who needs some advice, needs a helping hand, an extra hour, a small project, a quick errand or one more phone call. The need may even be legitimate.

Sometimes, you need to walk away, go to a quiet place and rest. It may only be for an hour, perhaps a day or maybe even a week. When people take extended time off it is even called a sabbatical. In our technological world with Blackberry’s, I-Pods, wireless laptops and so forth, we need to disconnect from it all and turn it off.

Last year a friend of our family gave us a wonderful gift, a week’s stay at their mountain home. The scenery is breathtaking, the air is cool and there is no cell phone signal. You might guess that we will take up any and all future invitations to use that home.

Your body needs to have a time where few demands are placed upon it, only the basics. Rest, eat and repeat ought to be the mantra of taking time away. Rarely to do people get the physician recommended 8 hours of sleep so be sure to get that. Your mind needs to not have the constant pressure of work no matter your vocation. But perhaps even more so, the stress that our hearts encounter when we go, go, go can actually lead to physical illness or worse. So, joyfully obey the commands of God, worship him and rest. He is the Great Physician and that is his prescription for our lives.

Be good to yourself. Rest, and you will see amazing results and changes in your life.

About Johnathan Richards

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