I spent last week in bed!
Why? I was sick; the result, I humbly admit, of overwork and lack of adequate margin in my life.
Stress reduces the efficiency of the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illness. It significantly contributes to the development of cardio-vascular disease, depression and other medical problems.
As I lay in bed, with more time to read my Bible than usual, I felt drawn to scriptures about Sabbath rest. As once previously, I felt God speaking to me about taking time to rest and not overwork. This time, I ended up in bed for a week with all of my counseling and other appointments cancelled, to ponder the situation more carefully.
“But God,” I asked, “while I understand the importance of taking a Sabbath and creating margin in my life, given the current situation I just don’t see how I can make that happen.” (The irony is that I regularly teach counseling clients and my students the necessity of adequate rest and margin!)
Just as that thought entered my mind, I came across a verse in Exodus 34:21 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest”.
Apparently, Sabbath rests are essential even when one is busy! Here are a few reasons:
As a practical matter, you and I cannot perform at peak without adequate rest and rejuvenation.
When we take proper time for rest and reflection we can hear God more clearly. We then become re-energized and refreshed from the vision and clarity we gain.
Without adequate time to rejuvenate physically, emotionally, spiritually we can become depleted, burnout, and even sick. We will have less to give those who follow us.
When do you take your Sabbath? Do you get adequate rest? What about leisure and times set aside for prolonged spiritual reflection?
Don’t wait till you end up with health problems or sick in bed!
I challenge you to review your schedule, along with me, to proactively plan time for Sabbath rest in our lives.