Theme of the Week: Vacation Without Guilt
Bible Verse: “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6, ESV
Scripture Reading: Exodus 16:1-21
While pursuing graduate studies, I began to practice a twenty-four-hour Sabbath. Because I regularly had a major exam on Monday morning, I kept my Sabbath from dinnertime on Saturday evening until dinnertime on Sunday evening so that I could study on Sunday night for a Monday morning exam. I wanted to do well academically, and sometimes I felt tempted to crack open the books on my Sabbath to prepare for a test or write a paper, but I felt God inviting me to trust him rather than my own capacity.
I am no longer a full-time student, but God continues to invite me to trust him rather than my capacity by honoring the Sabbath. Last year, I was invited to speak to a large national assembly of Pentecostal pastors. I am not a detail-oriented person, and I hadn’t read the letter of invitation very carefully. I was under the impression that I was slated to give just one keynote address. A few days before the conference, I noticed that I was slated to give two talks, one of which would require me to prepare a brand-new presentation.
As I thought about my schedule, I realized that the only day I could do the necessary preparations would be on my Sabbath, but I felt an invitation to trust God and keep the day of rest. I heeded the call and didn’t work on my Sabbath. So, I rested on my Sabbath and discovered that I still had enough time to prepare an extemporaneous talk. Through the gift of Sabbath, I have been learning to live by the “grace of manna” that falls all around me, even when I am tempted to work seven days a week.
Though we may keep busy and get a lot of work done, we won’t bear lasting fruit. But when we keep the Sabbath holy, we trust God to align our priorities and give us the grace and strength to work hard and tend to what is necessary for six days. We then rest for one, receiving everything as gift.
Taken from Survival Guide for the Soul by Ken Shigematsu. Copyright ©2018 by Ken Shigematsu. Used by permission of Zondervan.
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