Daily Devotional

Rest in Meaningfulness

Monday, September 13, 2021

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Heb. 4:9, 10, NIV.

Viktor Frankl survived the concentration camps during World War II and wrote a book about it. In it he described our human seach for meaning in terms of the hope we have for a better future. Those inmates who survived were not merely the clever ones, nor the more physically healthy ones, but the ones whose life was filled with meaning. But how can one find meaning in the cruel existence of a labor camp? Only by seeking that meaning in those possibilities held by the future—by hoping. This attitude, a type of stubborn, invincible mental health, kept the inmates alive.

Our daily life bears no comparison to that of the inmates in the Nazi camps, but the fact remains that those who successfully live even ordinary lives live in hope.

Sabbath observers have always been aware of this, but not always as fully as they ought. On the Sabbath day we are to look back to remember a week well lived, God's great gift of redemption, and Creation. But the Sabbath also invites us to look forward, since by definition it always arrives at the end of a working week. Thus on a cold Monday morning in the office we can look forward to Sabbath. After a hard day's work, on Tuesday evening we know that Sabbath is coming. By Wednesday we are rather tired, but fortunately the Sabbath is nearer. As Thursday comes around, we are already preparing for Sabbath, And when Friday arrives, Sabbath is knocking on our door. We open that door simply by stopping our work, and there Sabbath is in our midst. So simple, so profound. Work is finished, tiredness is forgotten, new vistas open to our mind, heart, and body.

Almost no amount of work pressure and stress can overcome the person who finds meaning in life. That meaning comes from hope of better times when work will be complete, stress will subside, and tense relationships will be rebuilt. The Sabbath holds out hope for such meaning in life each week, until it has so changed us that we become people of hope all life long.

Are you a person of hope? What can you do on Sabbath to bring more meaning to your life and strengthen your hope?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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