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Today’s Truth

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

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

Exercise

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.

Let’s Pray

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,

Amen.

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.

3 Responses to “Closed for Renovations”

  1. Kristi says:

    Beautiful devotional! God allowed my life to be stopped in its tracks in late 2010 with physical health issues. I had been praying for emotional healing but was not letting His Spirit near some areas, some deep seated wounds. I’ve been on disability since then and while God is doing a very thorough work on my inside, at times I have really struggled with guilt over not working, in spite of actual physical disability. Crazy. He leads me sometimes to look up things in the Word in the original Hebrew. Recently I was having another “guilt” attack on my mind and heart. He led me to look up the greeting used by the Jewish community on their Sabbath: “Shabbat Shalom.” I found a beautiful article that your devotional only confirmed. If you break Shabbat Shalom down to its root meanings it can literally be translated as “May your entire being be restored to wholeness as you cease from your labors.” God was lovingly confirming that I am right where I’m supposed to be and He is in control. Let go of the guilt! So thank you for writing this, and Shabbat Shalom to you, as every day in Jesus is a Sabbath!

  2. Joy says:

    Great article and great reminder to take care of self! Please pray for me in this area.

  3. Jen says:

    Thank you for this encouragement and reminder to keep the Sabbath and rest as a holy time for restoration by God. In prayer, I felt God reminding me to put first things first and care first for my soul with quiet times with God, then reminding me that if I am not doing a good job of giving time and energy to my husband and my children, that this is not the season for me to be serving and volunteering outside the home right now. I had been serving and realized I had little left to give to my own family at the end of every day. I have stepped down from volunteering and serving at church for a season so that I can focus on my family and the medical issues my children are going through that need my time and energy so much right now. God gently reminded me in prayer that for everything there is a season, and this season right now is my opportunity to build a strong marriage and loved children.

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