Sabbath

Sabbath is something which God has been speaking to my husband and me about this year. We kept hearing this theme come up long before social distancing, quarantines, and staying at home became the norm. Now all across the globe, things are shut down, and people are being forced to slow down. This is the perfect time to start implementing some new habits in our lives. But after this is all over, we should hang onto the new habits we created. And I hope that honoring the Sabbath, and slowing down in general, are things all of us will continue.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11

In the Ten Commandments, one of the instructions God gave us was to observe the Sabbath. According to biblestudytools.com, “The origin of the Hebrew sabbat is uncertain, but it seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep.”

On the day of Sabbath, God is telling us to stop and rest. God made the heavens and the earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day. So He commanded us to also rest on the seventh day. This can be difficult to do in our normally fast-paced world. Prior to the pandemic, many of us were often running from one thing to the next.

When I was around ten years old, I remember going camping with my family. My parents, grandmother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, and even my grandmother’s dog were all there. It was a nice opportunity for us to spend quality time together. One thing I especially remember about this trip is the story my mother relays about it at times. She had a difficult time just sitting and doing nothing. This is how many of us are these days. It seems to have gotten worse in recent times with all the devices we have now.

But resting is essential for our well-being, our spiritual life, our emotional state, and our physical bodies as well. It is not good on us to always be going and going. Eventually something has to give. We will burn out if we do not seek rest.

Ironically, as we are currently forced to stay home, I have heard a lot of complaints of boredom. Personally, I have not been bored for a single moment since I have been in isolation. Perhaps this is because I am a homebody. And I am working remotely, so my weekdays are still consumed with work. But after my working hours, I have been enjoying the slower pace. I am not making light of this situation. My heart breaks to think about how many people are suffering in different ways right now. Of course I do pray that the pandemic ends soon. However, in the meantime, I believe the Lord is trying to teach us all some things during this season.

This is the perfect time for all of us to learn to slow down and savor our time. Spend quality time with those in our household. Play a board game. Read a good book. Watch a movie. And most importantly, spend time with the Lord.

Resting in God’s presence truly refreshes us. Different versions of Psalm 23:3 say: “He refreshes my soul” (NIV), “He renews my strength” (NLT), “He restores my soul” (ESV). This is so true. Recently one Friday afternoon I was exhausted after a long week. For about twenty minutes I closed my eyes and just talked to the Lord. Afterwards, I felt rejuvenated.

In my opinion, resting also plays into hearing from God. If we are always busy and filling our head with different things, we do not have room to hear from the Lord. But when we take time to quiet our minds and focus on Jesus, we can truly see miracles in our spiritual lives.

Something I have been trying to do in preparation for the Sabbath is to get ahead by doing as many chores as possible the day(s) beforehand. I also try to stay off devices on the Sabbath, which helps me to quiet my mind and focus on the Lord. Devices can be a big distraction which takes our attention away from God and from our families. I believe staying off of devices one day a week can help refresh our minds and souls, especially if you have come to rely heavily on your devices. I also am intentional about being present. This helps me to have more quality time with those around me. When I do these things it helps me to have a peaceful day and gives me a renewed strength.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Please share: Is there anything specific that you like to do (or don’t do) on the Sabbath? And have you been working on any new habits related to slowing down these past few weeks?

© 2020 Bridget A. Thomas

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

About Bridget A. Thomas

Bridget A. Thomas is the author of numerous books which hit the top of the charts and continue to help many people find true contentment in life. In her spare time, Bridget enjoys reading non-fiction, fiction, and classic literature. She also enjoys crocheting and watching baseball. Bridget and her husband live in Florida, but often travel to the Smoky Mountains in search of black bears and other wildlife. To learn more about Bridget, visit her at bridgetathomas.com.
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19 Responses to Sabbath

  1. Perth Girl says:

    Such good points you raise here. I have been thinking along similar lines about changes I want to carry forward after all this – about not filling up my day with so many things and being intentional about slower pace. Like you said, when we rush from one thing to another we do not have room to hear from God. I like your practice of no devices on Sabbath.
    Take care Bridget – Manu 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Manu! I definitely believe that God would like for us to hold onto this slower pace after the pandemic. What a treasure to know how much He loves and cares for us. He looks at everything right down to the small details of our lives. And He gently nudges us to follow a different path. A path that He knows will draw us closer to Him. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent insight, Bridget. As I watch it snowing outside and consider a day of rest, I think my favorite would be taking a hike in the warm desert. Since I cannot do that now, I will save up my time and do it later. For me, that is rest. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand! Getting outside in nature and seeing God’s artwork is always amazing. It helps us to see how much thought and detail He put into creation. This draws us closer to Him and helps us to love Him even more. ❤️

      Like

  3. juliearduini says:

    Great post, Bridget! We tend to be scattered under normal circumstances during the week, so we celebrate the Sabbath by doing our best not to go anywhere beyond church, and we take a nap.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy J. Farrier says:

    Good thoughts, Bridget. I know I don’t rest enough. I don’t take the time alone with the Lord that I need. The stay at home time we’re in right now hasn’t changed much for me. I work from home so I am as busy as ever. I am not bored, although, like you, I am sad for those who are struggling right now. I do try to have down time on the Sabbath. I also take time in the morning to sit and read scripture and commune with God. Not enough though. I appreciate your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that, Nancy. I understand what you mean. I don’t rest enough either and I don’t spend enough of my morning focusing on the Lord. I am trying to do better. I pray that we can all learn to slow our pace a bit in order to be more intentional about focusing on Jesus!

      Like

  5. Judy says:

    I’m watching a lot less television. The drama in the real world makes the Hollywood fabricated drama look ridiculous. 🙂 With turning the TV off, I’ve a lot more time to working on writing and reading. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I started doing a day of sabbath in 2017 and it’s changed my life. 🙌🏼 Love this Post and knowledge

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Housekeeping – Bridget A. Thomas

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