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The Stress Antidote
Photo:  Studiomill
What brings you relaxation like nothing else? Perhaps you enjoy sitting out on your patio drinking lemonade on a warm summer evening. Some people find a back massage really does the trick or sitting in a hot tub. I find nothing more peaceful than sitting on a ridge up in the mountains overlooking a beautiful valley. Restfulness comes in many different packages.

Did you know God is interested in rest? The Lord doesn’t need rest like we do, but after creating the world God actually rested. The Bible says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2). God ceased from working in order to provide time and space in order for us to experience the gift of rest. Our Creator asked us to rest as well.

The fourth commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…” (Exodus 20:8-10). The Lord rested in order to provide rest for us. God not only demonstrated the importance of rest, but provided a day once a week in which we could commune with our heavenly Father. We rest in God’s work by enjoying the beauties of creation. We also rest in the work of salvation which the Lord provided for us.

Relish God

Sabbath, in Hebrew, means to “cease” or “stop working” or “rest”. This means to put away our regular weekly activities and relish God’s work of making us and re-making us. Sabbath is a memorial of Creation and Re-creation. It not only shows our loyalty to God as our Maker, but demonstrates our acceptance of Christ’s work of salvation for us on the cross. Even Christ “rested” in the tomb after Calvary.

The Sabbath is the perfect “anti-stress” plan for our busy lives. We would benefit by not only giving our bodies a rest, but relaxing our minds, spending time in worship, in fellowship with others, in doing kind acts of service for the lonely and hurting, and in experiencing nature with more of our senses. Sabbath wasn’t made for God, it was made for us (Mark 2:27).

So, if you are feeling stressed, take time to stop and rest each week on a day God gave to us as a gift. Experience the Sabbath. Worship the Creator. Thank God for the gift of salvation. Remember the Sabbath. It’s a day of “rest” in more ways than one!

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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