In our culture today, it is hard to find time to stop and catch a breath; to rest. Do we even have time to rest? Our culture screams this message: “work hard, don’t stop, and you’ll succeed.” Is this what God intended for us? In Michael Wittmer’s Heaven is a Place on Earth, he discusses the importance of a Sabbath and how God wove into the very clockwork of creation a period of rest.
After six days of creating everything in the universe, on the seventh day God sat back and rested. Why? Wittmer writes that “it was a time to enjoy the works of His hands, to delight in the beauty of His creation, and to savor the perfect community that existed between Him and Adam (141).” God’s example of rest became part of the Ten Commandments that He gave to Israel. On the seventh day of each week, they were mandated to do no work whatsoever. What God would carve out a time for his people to rest and simply enjoy life? This is a God who built us to enjoy His presence, His creation, and to have relationships.
Wittmer continues on to say that although as Christians under the blood of Christ we are not necessarily commanded to keep a Sabbath day because our rest is fulfilled in Christ (147-149). However, we are still designed physically in need of a break. As Wittmer says, “it is a wonderful sign of our salvation.” A weekly rest is a reminder to ourselves our spiritual rest in Christ and refreshes us physically for the week to come. Our rest may look different from the person next door, but we can be confident that God is faithful and if we ask Him, He will show us ways and provide us times to slow down. We must, however, trust Him.
Wittmer, Michael E. Heaven is a Place on Earth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. Print