I woke up this morning, excited to write about Rest. I was very convicted at the reminder that the Lord rested on the seventh day and so set it apart as holy and commanded us to rest on it to. I had these lovely preconceptions about what I thought this word rest meant. Then I read the definition in Mounce’s Expository dictionary. I was, I admit ready for something deep and poetic, something with the nice connotations of sleep. I read the definition. The definition of rest was basically “to cease.” In other words, Stop. My poetic, dream-laced ideas about the word shabot were shattered.
I don’t like the word stop, and cease sounds nicer but it still basically means the same thing, so I don’t really like it either. Everything my culture has taught me about success and happiness supports the word Go. Go Go Go Go Go. It’s very convincing. I’ll be more successful and more happy if I do things; if I stop, I’ll fail and be miserable. Isn’t that what our culture says? Stop is not a happy word.
But sabbot is. Sabbot must be. Because, it’s part of our Beloved’s love language. In His love language ceasing is resting. The truth is, we can’t rest until we stop. If we try to rest while we’re also trying to worry or work, it’s just not going to end up being all that restful. Even more than that, when we cease working and worrying and all that, we set apart space for those ceaseless things He calls us to – ceaseless prayer, ceaseless meditation, ceaseless thanks, ceaseless praise. In that space set apart our hearts have room to expand. Shabot is something to delight in. It is a beautiful, tender, set apart time. It’s a day when our Beloved has us to Himself. It’s our date with God. Our time to laugh and smile and listen and talk with and love Him. “Stop everything,” He says “I’m taking you out on a date. It’ll be our little romantic holiday. Just you and me.”
Let’s say “yes” to Him today.
Let’s say “yes” to Rest.
Holy Beloved, I thank You for shabot. I praise You, because only You could create something so beautiful and so tender. Revive us, restore us with Your Word and Your Person. Teach us how to rest in You. Teach our hearts and our hands the meaning of Shabbot. Most of all, teach us Yourself, help us get to know You better and better in this time and place of Shabbot. You are such a God of rest.
ps. I love you back.