I will never forget how excited I was to be hired on at my first job. I started as a Courtesy Clerk at a local grocery store. This was an opportunity to show my parents that I could be responsible. Finally, I had the chance to make my own money.
It did not take long for me to discover that work was actually work. The tasks were not always that enjoyable and the paychecks were not always that plentiful.
Those seven years (and two days) were full of constant change – whether it be in personnel, procedures, roles, or even location. I enjoyed the people that I had the privilege of working for and working with. That place of employment, in fact, paid for a good portion of my continued education.
But I was not always so grateful nor did I always put forth the effort that I should have. More often than not, I worked for the weekend – always looking forward to the day that I could “finally do what I wanted with my life.” I did not always do my best for God’s glory. If I had only recognized that God had placed me at that place for his purposes.
The Bible reads, “By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created” (Genesis 2:2-4, The Message).
We have such a difficult time grasping that God rested that we fail to even consider why he rested. He wasn’t tired. He was finished. He was not exhausted. He was appreciative. There was a time to get the job done and a time to be done with the job.
There have been those moments in my life that I was guilty of not working hard enough. But there have also been those times where I have worked far too long and hard. I have found that even the tasks that usually bring me great joy, when done without proper rest or when done with the wrong motives, can become far too tiresome and troublesome. I trick myself into believing that God won’t do what he has promised (salvation) unless I don’t do what he has instructed (Sabbath). The world just can’t function without me.
So whether it be in times of work or in times of rest . . . acknowledge that you are to praise and to please God. Understand that everything you do is of service to him. Give all that you have. But be careful not to give that which is not yours to give.
Sabbath has nothing to do with avoiding the task at hand and everything about worshiping the Creator who has already done all that is necessary.
It is finished.