There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. Hebrews 4, verses 9-11.
Please forgive the indulgence of talking about myself for the next few minutes.
I recently started working a second job. Money has been tight for most of the summer so, to help add income to our family’s bank account, I got a night job at a local call center. It’s been 22 years since I did something like this; the last time I had a night job I was in my late twenties. Suffice it to say that it’s been an interesting adjustment. My typical day now starts at 0500 hrs at the gym. I’m at my consultant day job, working from home, between 7:00 and 8:00 AM and I work at this until about 4:30 or 5:00 PM. Then, I’m sitting in my desk at the call center, ready to make sales calls at 6:00 PM, and I work here until 10:00 or so until the shift leader tells us to go home. Add up all those hours and it makes for a 14-15 hour day, every day for five days per week.
I’ve been doing this for less than 2 weeks and I’m already physically tired. I can’t imagine how folks who do it for years must feel. Twenty-eight year old Dave could hack this but fifty year old Dave is finding it to be a physical challenge. Yet, emotionally and even spiritually, I’m excited. I’ve been given the chance to do something I’ve never done before, and a chance to meet people and be a representative for Jesus. I get to do this with my co-workers, most of whom are from backgrounds drastically different from my own. And I get to do this, subtly, with my customers on the phone, simply being helpful, kind, and engaging.
I get to share Sabbath rest with other people. My day job is frustrating to me right now, so I have been given the gift of a night job to give me some emotional rest from my day labors. All of it happening when it did, the way it did, seems like evidence to me of God’s hand in these matters. And I’m even getting paid for it!
Leviticus 23 says “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.” That’s a direct command: get some rest one day a week. Put down your burdens and let go, rejuvenate, regroup. God is saying that we aren’t built for 24/7 work. We aren’t robots and we shouldn’t try to be. Following up on that thought, Revelation 14 says “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”” In this life, we are to trust the Lamb, to trust in the Lord fully so that, when we die in this world of work, we might live yet again as His blessed followers.
Yet it’s so important to remember that the rest God is talking about isn’t just physical rest: it’s spiritual rest. He isn’t telling us just to mark our calendars to have one day off in seven. He’s telling us to constantly seek our rest in Him, to put all of our labors, burdens, and stresses on Him and seek our rest in Him on our good days and bad ones. God promises each of us that, today, here and now, when we seek Him we will find true peace and rest. In a fallen world there will be sin and it will make life difficult, including in our work. There are some days when Satan will attack us this way. Yet Jesus is with us to give us the peace, strength, and rest through it all to not only get over the hard times but grow into success because of them. We get to do that by exhibiting our faith in Him, by following His lead, conducting ourselves in His way, and representing Him faithfully, even when the going gets tough. THIS is our real second job, maybe even our primary one.
Good words to remember when the days are long and Satan tries to attack through exhaustion.
For more reading: Leviticus 23:3, Revelation 14:13.
Lord Jesus, abide with me, I pray. I’m working hard here at the tasks You’ve given me. I trust You, so please strengthen and encourage me through them. Help me to be Your faithful representative and brother.