For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:8-10, ESV)
For the majority of tour players, Monday is a rest day. In addition, they will schedule a week or two off throughout the season. Rest days are essential for the body and mind to endure the grueling pace of professional golf. I remember two stretches in my career when I didn’t rest. I played 30 days in a row and I played eight events in a row. On both occasions, not resting was detrimental to my play and my mental well-being.
I still don’t rest well from the daily tasks that fill my schedule. My inner critic reassures me that I haven’t done enough at the end of the day. My body physically stops, but my mind rarely finds rest.
This is why I (we) need to be reminded of the importance of Sabbath rest. In the first two chapters of Genesis, we read that God worked six days and rested on the seventh, the Sabbath. In Jewish tradition, Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and ends sundown Saturday. In our Christian tradition, Sunday is known as a day for church and rest. But do we really understand Sabbath?
The Sabbath is a physical day during the week, and it also means resting in the Lord. Taking a day to rest is about play, delight, physical rest, and drawing deeper into the Scriptures. The author of Hebrews shared that we enter Jesus’ rest: “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands…” (Hebrew 4:1a). His rest is ours when we follow his call to “take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). Rest is a way of being.
A yoke allows two things to be coupled together. The most common example is yoking two animals with a wooden crosspiece fastened over the necks; the yoke is then attached to a plow or cart to be pulled. Jesus wants us to yoke ourselves to him, to be so connected to him that he is doing the majority of the workload, allowing us to do our work while in a state of resting in him.
The following quote offers a great summary, “The ancient practices of Sabbath and Jubilee remind us that we are dependent on God for everything. All that we do and everything that we have is a gift from God. When we forget this, our relationships and our environments suffer. God calls his people to rest and remember that his provision is more than enough” (The Bible Project, Bible Study: Gift of Rest).
I hope you are encouraged to do Sabbath. The best way to live and work is from a place of rest.
February 11, 2021
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