“How was your sleep?” asked Goldie Keilholtz, or Gram as I called her, was a godly, faith-filled woman. She was already in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the bacon, eggs, and homemade toast for breakfast. “Oh, it was fine,” I said as I unceremoniously rubbed the remnants from my eyes. Overnights at Gramp and Gram Keilholtz’s house were like a mini vacation. Being the youngest grandchild of their youngest daughter had some perks! I wouldn’t say I was spoiled, but I am sure I was in the area code. The dining room was the center of the home, and the dinner table the center of that room. It was the canvas on which Gram spread culinary works of art. What they may have lacked in fancy presentation they far exceeded by flavor and portion! You never left the table hungry.
On the center of the dinner table sat a napkin holder, shakers for salt and pepper, and a small promise box. The promise box held small cards containing one verse of scripture. Gram would pass the box around for each person to get one to read aloud at mealtime just before saying grace. I will never forget her statement after every verse I read at the table, “Kenny, that is such a good verse… it’s one of my favorites.” Years later, I realized Gram loved the Word of God so much that they were all “one of her favorites.” It took my meeting Jesus the Living Word for me to understand her love for the word. I discovered some wonderful promises for what we know as “Sabbath Rest” in God. The Sabbath was a reminder for us to know God as the source of all things.
Works and working aside, God has created us to know Him and rest in the life he provided for us. When we rest in Him we honor Him with faith and He works on our behalf. When we refuse to rest in Him we worry, stress, and burn out, thinking everything rises and falls on us. He calls us to do eternal work, but not with the temporal fuel of our own design. I got refreshed for the day from a good night’s sleep at Gramp and Gram’s. I received physical strength (and a few extra pounds) for the chores I would do around the farm from the comfort food she landed in front of me. But, rest for the soul only comes from her Master, the Lord of the Sabbath himself. The Old Testament law of the Sabbath day contained within it the New Testament promise of rest and refreshing for the soul. It is not a single day of the week, but a provision and promise available in our day. Are you stressed, worn out, or lacking creativity? Could you do with some refreshing? Is your level of joy decreasing, rather than increasing? Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
Sleep, food, and recreation are only temporary fixes to the soul fatigue of our human condition. The Holy Spirit releases rest in our spirit as we turn to the Lord and receive his offer. The shadow of the Sabbath day was shattered by the glory of the Son of God who brings life and peace for those who put their trust in Him and honor Him above their own way.
He is the one you need, for the REST of your life.
~ Pastor Ken Cramer