Since I’ve been back from Israel, it feels like life has been busier than ever. I can’t figure out if this is just the perfect storm of appointments and obligations or if life was already like this.
One of the coolest things I saw in Israel was an ENTIRE community of people participating in Shabbat (or sabbath, if you’re unfamiliar with Jewish culture and terms like I was!). Perhaps my favorite scene – the one that made it most real – was a marketplace swarming with Jews who were trying to prepare for the weekend. They were doing their last minute shopping, closing up their shops and getting ready for the siren that rang at 4pm signaling the start of their holy day.
From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, they rest. They worship the Lord, put their eyes on Him and anticipate their Messiah. They believe that, according to the Old Testament law, they should not do anything that produces something – cooking, working, even pushing the button on an elevator to go to a different floor! This is a time meant to be spent with your family, reconnecting with friends, with yourself and (most importantly) the Lord!! It was incredibly beautiful to be sitting in the dining room of a hotel in Jerusalem with families all around, enjoying each others company and singing songs to God.
In D-Group, they are challenging us to find our verse and word for the year. I have chosen Jeremiah 29:13, which says:
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
While this verse doesn’t sound much like rest (in fact, I’m pretty sure seeking is the complete opposite of resting), I think that a lot of seeking the Lord comes in resting in him and making it a point to do so. Carving out time every week is not something that just happens – you have to seek it out.
So, I’ll really be pursuing this over the next few weeks. It will be a challenge, don’t get me wrong. I think I’ll end up taking a page from the book of those I saw in Jerusalem rushing to get their groceries before the sirens went off signaling the start of Shabbat. 🙂
BUT… it will so be worth it. I will have Him. I will have rest. There will be repair – not just for me but for my family, my friends and those I love. What a prize! All for just doing what he has commanded of us from the beginning.
Won’t you join me in rest?