Check out 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 this morning.
God’s been working some American misconceptions out of me.
A few months ago, I was really tired. I couldn’t shake it. I’d come home from work exhausted and wake up (sort of) groggy. I kept telling myself, “You need some time off.” But as I prayed, God answered my complaints with something I wasn’t expecting:
You need to be more disciplined, work harder, and take a Sabbath.
What? Of course I take a Sabbath. And how exactly was I supposed to work harder? I felt like I was maxed out.
“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 20:8-11
Here’s what God revealed to me:
Biblically, we’re given that we should work six days a week and take one day completely off devoted to rest.
Yikes, that’s not what I had been doing. I was working hard from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. five days during the week and then relaxing some on Saturday and Sunday, the American weekend. And I was wasting a lot of time in the remaining hours–especially the early ones.
For me, the shift meant I needed to make a plan. I’ll get up earlier to spend more time with the Lord, then have time to put in a load of laundry, and straighten up the house. I’m still getting eight hours of sleep – just not the nine and half I’d convinced myself I needed.
I’ll plan to touch up the bathrooms on this day each week, and work out on these days. I’ll blog a little on Monday nights, and get groceries on Saturdays.
Having made a plan to work hard each day for six days a week – instead of feeling entitled to “me time” every day of the week – I feel much less overwhelmed and my Sundays are dedicated to resting in the Lord.
My world feels so different.
And it sounds so organized, and it’s really not. I’m not perfect. I still oversleep my alarm sometimes and feel too tired to fold clothes. I rarely get this all right. What is more important is the change in my thinking.
And barring craziness (which invades from time to time), I have been much less likely to get discouraged or grow weary in doing good. I have more energy for volunteering and ministering to others, and it’s by realizing my time is not mine. I gave it to Jesus when I gave Him my heart.
The most important element of this is time with Him. He is your source, as He is mine, and you can do nothing apart from Him.
What do you think about this? Do you ever get so worn out that you feel like you can’t take any more, only to find He gives you strength when you put Him first?