This past week I was placed on bed rest because my little lady within thought it was time for her to arrive into our world, though she still has another 7 weeks of development. I seriously struggle with the practicalities of bed rest. Most of my time must be spent either sitting or laying down, and I'm not allowed to lift anything, push anything, pull anything, bend over, or walk around for more than a few minutes. My "job" is to relax. Now, for a woman who tends to believe her worth is in how she performs or how much she produces in a period of time, this concept is ridiculously hard to grasp. How can I be of any value if I am just sitting here like a bump on a log? Though my sweet husband continually reminds me that I am protecting and caring for our daughter by obeying the bed rest orders, I still struggle with my lack of productivity...if only I could do all the dishes, or vacuum the carpets, or cook up all those freezer meals we'll want to have for after baby arrives! I wonder if this is how Hebrew women felt on the day of Sabbath...they had to bustle about and be highly productive for six days out of the week and then completely let it all go for the seventh. No making dinner, no cleaning the house, no organizing or harvesting or sewing...just resting.
Resting...the concept of Sabbath rest is one that God has tried to drill into His peoples' heads for centuries. The day is set aside for remembering, not striving; for quiet contemplation, not deliberation; for restoration, not consumption. Yet His people contorted it into another way to perform by attaching stringent rules and a status of pride for adhering to them. Sabbath was intended as a time for acknowledging God and finding peace in His power.
In the new covenant that Jesus brought, Sabbath rest was initiated as the way of life for all days. No longer are we striving for perfection or seeking the status of our own merit, but we are able to rest in His perfection and have already been given the status of His merit as though it were our own. We are allowed--and obligated--to rest in Jesus' sacrifice because we can't achieve perfection with our own performance. Boy, do I forget that! For some reason I think that if I work hard enough, achieve enough, produce enough, I will receive status and peace. But I'm told to simply rest and to stop striving. My value now lies in Christ's blood, and I can't add a smidgen to it.
I'm hoping that while I'm on bed rest I will take the time to acknowledge God's amazing work and find peace in His power. In fact, I'll take time out of each day to remember, contemplate, and find restoration in His Word and His presence, and hopefully share what He reveals here. Perhaps bed rest is a beautiful blessing that will begin a habit of daily rest.