Ok, I suppose I shouldn’t purport to speak for God, but I am becoming convinced in my middle-age, that our loving Father desires our souls to be refreshed and our strength to be renewed; that He takes joy in our rest.
He did, in fact, invent it. He did, as you remember, command us to do it on the seventh day.
Are you in need of a “seventh day?”
5 Reasons Why God Wants You To Take A Vacation
1. How many of you went to bed last night with a to-do list piling up in your head? Did you wake up and start filing through your checklist of things that all seem urgent? Isn’t it tiring? I am convinced that we need to work to move beyond all the “doing” of life…in order that we might focus a bit more on the “being” part of life. Because in the “being” part of life, we better see God. We notice the nuances of his creation. We breathe more deeply. We love with more fortitude. When we unclutter our minds in the quiet, we are more available to our Creator.
2. God led Elijah into the wilderness for protection, and there sent an angel to feed him. Elijah slept and was restored (I Kings 19). Elijah has a history of being fed and provided for in very interesting ways. Whether a raven in the desert, an angel baking bread, or an old woman running out of oil, God provided for Elijah and allowed him rest and replenishment. Do we trust him to do the same for us? Will we let ourselves become untethered long enough to see that kind of mercy and grace?
3. Satan knows our when we are physically weak and uses those moments to trip us up. The example of Jesus in the desert (Luke 4) shows that Satan is watching. Although Jesus was tempted first by food, he was also isolated and away from his loved ones. Does the daily bustle or your work ever leave you feeling isolated? Is it time to reconnect as a couple or as a family? Luke 4:13 says, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” The implication? The devil waits to find you vulnerable. Don’t let your soul become worn so thin that you inadvertently help him!
4. Jeremiah 31 declares the joy the Lord will experience when the remnant of Israel is brought out of captivity and given a new start. Over and over throughout the chapter God promises “I will give rest,” (v2), “I will lead them beside streams of water” (v9), “They will be like a well-watered garden” (v12), and finally, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (v25). Do you sometimes feel that you are held captive by your job? Your smartphone? Your agenda? Your computer? Your _________? God wants to refresh us and give us the abundant life that comes with knowing freedom in Christ. Perhaps getting away from your “captor” is the first step to knowing that freedom.
5. In the beloved Psalm 23, David writes that it is The Lord who makes him lie down, who leads him besides still waters, who restores him. What can we learn from this? That our Father knows that we are made to need quiet. Calm. Stillness. Refreshing.
Unless you can find this kind of serenity and peace next to a humming fax machine, a zinging phone, and your neighbors’ incessantly barking dogs, I earnestly prod you to consider some kind of vacation or unplugging.
Get away and know the joy that God wants to give you when you allow yourself to lie down beside the water.