Take advantage of your day of rest to be made new

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I saw a news story a few weeks back that grabbed my interest. The reporter's focus was vacation. It seemed highly appropriate to file a piece on vacation just before a popular vacation month in the United States. The reporter was comparing the legislated vacation times of the European nations to our own system that does not legally demand vacation time.

One could argue that because some European nations are on the verge of economic crisis, they are not the best examples to use. What caught my ear was that he drew attention to the issue that while many American workers do not have any vacation benefits from their employers, many who do have vacation time do not take their vacation days.

Psalm 23 is perhaps one of the most recognized Psalms. Most often is it read during a funeral to ease grief knowing the Lord is the great shepherd leading those he loves to eternity. While that comforting promise is true, there is a phrase in verse three that is passed over -- "He restores my soul."

Restoration is returning. It is taking that which is damaged and broken and bringing it back to an original state. The whole of Psalm 23 reminds us that God's desire is to lead, to guide to prepare and to restore. God's desire is to take our brokenness and make it whole. God is active in our lives. At least he desires to be.

The funny thing about restoration is that it is dependent upon our willingness to be restored.

There were once two men during the early settler days out west. They both loaded their wagons with their families and their supplies. They hitched their teams and started chasing the sunset. One man, determined to get to the west as fast as possible, drove his team every day, only stopping when absolutely necessary. The second man insisted on stopping every Sunday to honor God and be restored. Although they left on the same day, the family who stopped arrived first. The first man's team was depleted, his family stressed and completely drained. The second man's team was ready to work the new homestead. His family was tired but energized by reaching their destination. The difference was rest.

God's desire is to restore. We need to position ourselves for restoration. Intentionally take time to be restored, to be made new.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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