A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like a summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. – Henry Ward Beecher
Every country in the world has public holidays – from the Chinese New Year to Brazil’s Carnaval to India’s Vasanta (or Basant). This coming Monday in the United States, we celebrate Memorial Day, remembering those who died while serving our armed forces. Yet I believe God desires that we receive particular gifts from Him that emerge in these “extra” Sabbatical days.
God wired us for a weekly rhythm of Sabbath rest for a 24-hour period. He also wired us for longer Sabbath stretches of time for rest. We observe this in the way He built into the life of Israel Sabbatical weeks and even Sabbatical years. God knew that if Israel were to be true to her calling and purpose, they would need more than Sabbath once a week.
So do we.
Let me invite you to structure every national holiday as a longer Sabbatical – stopping your work, resting, delighting in the miracle of life, and contemplating our invisible God in the visible creation.
On every Sabbath we discover that God is speaking – a lot. Transforming your holiday into an additional Sabbath is no exception. There are things He wants to reveal to us that we will never be able to hear unless we are in a place of rest before Him.
- I discover that goals we might think are important suddenly seem less important or perhaps even distractions from what God might be inviting me to do.
- I remember that God is not in a rush. I taste God’s contentment in His unhurried, deliberate plan to save a world that I think desperately needs all of Him now!
- I am reminded of my essential work – to trust in Jesus (John 6:28-29). He runs the world better than I do. In fact, even when I sleep, He is working.
- I realize I am still too busy to receive all He wants to reveal to me.
There are some things God can deposit into our souls only when we unplug from work completely and rest. So receive this coming holiday as a Sabbath to the Lord your God. And you will discover, as I have, that every Sabbath offers something new of God – something we can’t get any other way.