Space to Exhale


Space to Exhale
Lysa TerKeurst

“If you keep your feet from breaking
the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath
a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going
your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will
find your joy in the Lord.” Isaiah 58:13-14 (NIV)

Rest.

That
sounds so good, but it’s really difficult for a girl like me. Even when my
physical body is at rest, my mind rarely is.

I feel like I’m always
juggling balls in my brain. Kids’ needs. Home demands. Work projects. The to-do
lists never stop.

Yet the Bible makes it very clear that we are to honor
the Sabbath day and pursue rest. Literally we are to hit the pause button on
life once a week and guard our need to rest. Guard it fiercely. Guard it
intentionally. Guard it even if our schedules beg us to do otherwise.

But
why?

There are honest, personal reasons we need to observe the Sabbath
that will be unique for each person. There are private conversations we need to
have with God. We all need to pause, to sit with God, and ask Him to reveal some
things to us.

And when I consider our key verse Isaiah 58:13-14,
something occurs to me—it’s not just a day for me to give to God. It’s a day God
established for me. He wants to give me something if only I’ll slow down enough
to receive it.

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from
doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the
LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not
doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the
LORD.”

The Sabbath isn’t merely a time to be observed; it’s a time to be
preserved. It’s a time to rediscover our joy in the Lord.

I need this. I
want to be a preserver of this day—one who is determined to protect this day of
personal preservation and rediscover the delight of God.

The observer
remembers to rest.

The preserver rests to remember—to remember that it’s
all about God.

The observer remembers to rest and pause on the Sabbath
day in order to follow a rule.

The preserver does more than follow a
rule. She follows God’s desire and embraces His purpose in the rest. She spends
one day a week letting the fresh wind of God’s rest blow through her, cleaning
out all she’s been taking in during the week with a purifying soul
exhale.

It’s all about pausing and connecting with God without the
distracting chaos of our everyday routines. For one day a week, we step out of
the fray and let God direct our day according to His rhythm, not
ours.

God’s rhythm preserves a space in us to hear His voice, reveals the
places we’re off track, and prevents us from being filled with unnecessary
clutter. Quiet rest allows us to see the places where we’re going our own way,
the areas where we’re more self-pleasing than God-pleasing, the idle words that
need to be reined in. During the down time, we can deal with the mental clutter
and focus on the ways of God.

The Sabbath makes this
possible.

Taking one day for rest gives my soul the freedom it so
desperately needs. Freedom to breathe. Space to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling
in a gentle rhythm set by God.

Dear Lord, space to breathe, this is what
I need today. Thank You for showing me how important it is to create a place for
freedom and rest. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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