“The LORD said to Moses… ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. ..The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the Sabbath year will be food for you’” Leviticus 25:1-6.
When we hear the word Sabbath we most likely think of Sundays and church attendance. We certainly don’t think of 365 straight days of holy observance and patience in circumstances. I once read that the Sabbath is more of a spiritual posture resting in the promises of God rather than a day set aside for Him. To enter into His rest is to willingly embrace the land He has given to us. Only God can determine when we need a temporary break from something in our lives…an orchestrated period of rest from the normal and dependable.
I know all about this as I came out of three intense years of caregiving for sick family members. The year following my father-in-law’s passing I found myself in a new land. A land that didn’t require much work physically, but a great deal of work spiritually. The chaos of previous lands had been quietened and my involvement in things became still. It was my time to rest…my Sabbath land to conquer and the battle was patience and being still. The land didn’t yield as much as I was used to but I learned to feed on whatever manna came from that year of rest. It is no wonder that God deemed rest as a commandment. He knew that we would have to be reminded in the down times of life to look to Him in reverence and guidance. He knew that the land of rest would beckon us to look to other lands to conquer.
So He reminds us that when He brings us into something new, He holds time in His hands and knows what is best for us even when we do not. He orchestrates the times in our lives like a beautiful symphony. ‘Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed at the ‘rests.’ They are not to be slurred over, nor to be omitted, nor to destroy the melody, nor to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat time for us. With the eye on Him we shall strike the next note full and clear.’ – John Ruskin, artist and writer.