Saturday, August 06, 2011

Rest to Work

Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death." -- Exodus 35:1-2

Today we go on vacation. Frazzled to the bone with work pressures, meetings, and the duties of our home and family, I have been wanting to crash but have been lying in my bed with eyes wide open, thoughts whirling. This morning, I opened the scriptures and found this. This section of scripture is primarily about building the tabernacle, the house of the Lord. The Israelites have been asked to offer their belongings and their services to build the tabernacle, but before they are called to service, they are called to rest. I almost missed this part. But God is serious, so serious that He said those who refuse Sabbath rest will be put to death.

Put to death because you do not rest.

As a diligent worker, I can see why. Even if I am doing church work, sometimes especially if I am doing church work, I can miss the importance of rest, refreshment, re-filling of the Spirit in the urgency of my tasks. Yes, diligence is important, but also is rest.

So as I sat with my Bible open this morning reading these words, I can hear our Father saying, "You need to rest!."

Because often I can work myself to death -- work so hard that I hurt myself and even hurt others as I try to serve them, because I run out of Spirit and serve only out of myself. Myself is never enough, never transforming, merely wood, hay and stubble. I have been praying and praising, but not as diligent in reading and reflecting on the Word. I have been moving too fast and need to slow down.

So we are packing our car and driving off to Camp of the Woods, to refresh our spirits as well as our minds and bodies. Then we will return ready to work and serve with the Love of our Father. Because we will be full -- of Him.