We return home after Sunday Mass. It’s time for lunch.
As I stir a pot of macaroni and cheese, my mental to-do list races through my brain: there are meals to plan, groceries to purchase, laundry to wash (and fold), papers to sort, and a couple other errands I’d like to squeeze in if possible. My stress level rises as I strategize the best way to accomplish everything.
“If you hold back your foot on the sabbath,” or as another translation of Isaiah 58:13 reads, “If you refrain from trampling the sabbath . . .”—the phrase stops me in my tracks.
Instantly I know I am guilty of this. If I’m honest, more sabbaths than not I do not merely trample, but stampede through the day the Lord has given for rest. My heart is already convicted when I notice a handwritten note expressing similar sentiment next to these verses in my Bible. If this is not the first time I have been struck by these verses, why hasn’t anything changed? Why, when the Lord promises abundant blessings when we “call the sabbath a delight,” have I failed to take him up on His offer (Isaiah 58:13-14)?
I take these verses to prayer in adoration. In His presence I quiet myself enough to hear Him say to my heart, You do not understand how important this is to Me, or you would do better. His tone is not at all shaming, not accusatory, but mercifully gentle. Honest. He tells me this out of His deep, abiding love for me. Out of His desire for my good.
On this extra day of the year the Lord has given us, what can we do to ready ourselves to receive the sabbath gift He will offer tomorrow?
Join me in making a leap in the right direction, sisters. Let’s ask the Lord for help this Lent. Ask Him what changes He desires you to make. For honoring Him will be a delight, and, as we rest with Him, we will find everything we truly need.
Follow this deep-dive into how to rest on the Lord's Day.
Elise Howe is a wife, mother, vocal artist, teacher, and writer. A lover of authentic beauty, Elise is most joyful when creating with the inspiration of the Divine Artist. A born-and-raised Midwestern gal, she happily resides in Michigan after several years "living the dream" in New York City. Elise has a heart for ministry, dark chocolate (but not too dark) and coffee with a generous amount of cream + sugar. She is a contributing author to our Works of Mercy Study: Misericordia. Find out more about her here.