Ministry and Motherhood

If you are feeling tired and heavy laden, rediscover Sabbath this week. Seek the rest God has for your soul. by Captain Stephanie Hargis

It’s nine p.m., but it feels like the day has already lasted forever. It began by having to rise way too early. I finished getting dressed and ready just as my toddlers woke up. While trying to keep on schedule, we were on our way out the door when I noticed that one child had lost a shoe. The other couldn’t find the teddy bear she sleeps with at naptime. Then it was on to fight the traffic lines and get the children inside the school before they had a meltdown, declaring that they wanted to stay with me. All this while knowing that I had a full schedule of meetings, upset clients to deal with and other problems that seem to arise daily.

Once I put out the fires at the office, I settled in to fill out the necessary reports, examine my calendar and write a to–do list. When I finally felt like I was accomplishing quite a bit, it was time to pick up the kids. If I was late a third day in a row, I’d have to pay a late fee or talk to the principal like a naughty school child.

Off again in the hectic afternoon traffic, I rushed to get home to start dinner and talk to the kids about their day at school. A glance at the clock says it’s time to head to gymnastics. I can’t worry about the mess in the kitchen. The dishes will get done later. Finally, I’m back home in time to get the kids bathed and into their pajamas. Pray with them and get them off to bed. Then remember I still have to clean the kitchen. When I finally sit down to have a moment to myself, it’s nine o’clock, and I wonder where the day has gone. I really need some rest.

Many of us also go to church on a weeknight to help lead ministry. We are busy moms in ministry.  We may appear to have it all together, but we are worn out and frazzled on the inside. We are the 10% of the church who are serving and are stretched thin. We need more than physical rest. The hectic pace leaves our souls depleted as well. We need time for personal spiritual renewal. When do we take a moment to allow the Lord to minister to our hearts?

Matthew said in Matthew 11:38:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Sabbath is rest for the soul. God made Sabbath one of the Ten Commandments because He knows how much we need this rest. If we are constantly running from one moment to the next, we will eventually run out of fuel. Sabbath is not just a commandment; it’s an invitation to refuel and know the Lord.

Why is Sabbath important?

  • It is a gift
  • It allows us to know the voice of the Good Shepherd
  • It is the realignment, a way to breathe in who God is
  • It exhibits trust
  • It gives understanding of God’s love
  • It is the hope of our hearts

We read in Luke 10:38–42: 

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to You that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’ But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

We have so many responsibilities. However, we need to set aside moments every day to look up to Him. Even if that means sneaking a handful of M&Ms behind the locked door of the pantry, thank God for that moment of rest. Feed on the Word of God to give you the strength to sustain you for another day, and never forget that the Sabbath is a gift.

If you are feeling tired and heavy laden, rediscover Sabbath this week. Seek the rest God has for your soul. I promise you will not be disappointed. Each of us is given the same amount of time every day. How will you spend your next 24 hours?

This article was originally published by The Salvation Army Women’s Ministry Resources.