“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” -Mark 2:27
I love coffee, and I often say yes when people offer it to me. However, the other day, I, without thinking, said yes too many times. I drank five cups that day. I had assumed I would just have trouble sleeping, but the large amount of coffee caused me to wake up with horrible acid reflux that kept me awake through most of the night. Two things were quite evident in this experience. One, it was entirely my fault; two, I was miserable. But this experience gave me a revelation about God’s character.
Through the acid reflux, I found myself thinking, “Well, since this is my fault, I shouldn’t ask God for help. Why would He help me in this situation? I deserve this.” While God often does let us experience the consequences of our own actions, we need to remember this: God shows grace to us in so many ways, and grace is exactly that, something we don’t deserve. He shows grace to us when we were dead in our trespasses (Eph. 2:5). If God never helped us with things that were our fault, we would still be dead in our sins.
Our lives would be a whole lot more hopeless if God didn’t intercede in our hopeless situations that we bring on ourselves. God shows us grace in all circumstances; we never need to concern ourselves with the question, “Do I deserve God’s help in this?” The answer to that question every time would be no. Because, to put it simply, we never deserve God’s help, that’s why it’s called grace. Grace is God’s undeserved favor. God loves us so much that, despite our mistakes, despite our outright bad decisions, God shows His love by always having plenty of grace for each and every situation. All we have to do is receive it.
Now what does this have to do with the Sabbath?
Sometimes we enter the Sabbath feeling exhausted because we had a particularly stressful or tiresome week. Sometimes we enter the Sabbath feeling guilty because we, perhaps, didn’t accomplish what we intended to do that week, or things didn’t go how we wanted them to go. Sometimes we might struggle to feel like we’ve earned the Sabbath that week.
But that’s the beautiful thing about the Sabbath! We couldn’t earn it; it is part of God’s grace to man. He gave us a day to rest in Him. A day to rest our bodies, minds, and spirits. A day to be rejuvenated in Him. A day of peace. He gave it as a gift, and gifts are not something we earn, they are something that is given to us.
God doesn’t give us the Sabbath because we are so good that we deserve it. He gives us the Sabbath because He is so good and He loves us. The Sabbath is just another form of God’s grace and love that He shows to us in a very practical way.
Resting with you in the Lord Jesus Christ.