As we move through this period of mid-terms and essays for the first time this year, we’re often reminded of how little time we have to work with. All too easily we can be put into a position where homework and studying have piled up and we’re faced with sleepless all-nighters and seemingly endless cram sessions. At times like this, our Sabbath hours spent with God can be the first thing to be thrown out. God intended work to be balanced by rest. Taking Sunday, or any other day, to devote to resting in God’s presence is deeply important to this balance. However, I believe that there is actually something much more important to understand here. In Jeremiah 31:25, the Lord tells the Israelites, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Later, in Matthew 11, Jesus builds off this, saying, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest in your souls.” Neither passage seems to be talking about a day of relaxation or worship, but rather a re-orientation of our spirit.
If we really want to reclaim the Sabbath in our own lives, we need to embrace it as something larger than a day when we don’t do homework. Sabbath should be a state of mind in which we are constantly throwing our cares to the Lord and learning to rest in the comfort of His providence. When you don’t have the time to take a full day off from your studies, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, get in the habit of offering your troubles and concerns to God, praying for his peace within the few minutes you do have available.
Having a day of rest is important in order to refresh our body, mind, and spirit. We should constantly be working to live within a schedule that accommodates that sacrifice of time. However, while we are working towards it, we can be comforted in the fact that even though our bodies and minds may be tired, God will not refuse rest to our soul.