May 1, 2017
Closed for Renovations
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Have you ever driven to a store or restaurant only to find a sign on the door reading “Closed for Renovations”? What an inconvenience, right? But hopefully you were “wowed” at the grand re-opening when you saw the finished product and the improvements made.
Do you ever wish you could have a “Closed for Renovations” sign over your life?
Wouldn’t it be nice to take time out to renovate yourself without any interruptions? If only you could stop the texts and hit the pause button on your obligations. Sure it would be inconvenient, but wouldn’t it be worthwhile? Let’s just imagine you have a few days without any responsibilities except focusing on the areas in your personal life that need some tender loving care. What might your renovations list look like?
Read a book
Pray and fast
Plan for the next three months
Spend some time in silence
Get healthier meals in place
Apologize to a family member
Go on a date night with your husband
Give away the clothes I haven’t wore in ten years
Believe it or not, the world will not stop spinning on its axis if you take a short sabbatical for yourself. Whether it’s a quiet weekend or a six-month period when you don’t volunteer for anything, give yourself permission to rest.
After all, God rested at the end of His work of creation. The Fourth Commandment instructs us to remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:10 says, “The seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…” Later in Exodus 31:13 it reads, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”
When you take time weekly to renovate your soul, mind and body, you set yourself apart from the world. The world moves too fast for this kind of inactivity that seems counter-productive. Yet when you pause to rest and know that He is God, it will fill you up to live more purposefully.
Don’t just wait for “free time” in your life to make renovations. That free time will never appear unless you create it. Set aside time for the Lord on Sundays and other days and just watch what God will do.
Dear Lord, help me to slow down to give You time to renovate my life. Renew a right spirit within me and transform my thinking to conform to Your Word. I dedicate my days of work and rest to You, for Your glory and use.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
In what ways do you keep the Sabbath holy? Do you take time to regular rest and worship God?
More from the Girlfriends
Part of Sabbath rest is turning off your electronic devices. Find screen-time help for your family in Arlene’s book co-authored with Gary Chapman, Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Monday, 01 May 2017.