Give It a Rest!

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Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Some of you will remember the not-too-distant past when Labor Day signaled the end of summer and the beginning of school.

Okay, maybe that was longer ago than we care to admit. However, Labor Day still signals the end of summer (even though we technically have about three more weeks), as well as family barbecues and retail-sales events that have us scouring stores, whether brick-and-mortar or online.

Created in 1894, the federal holiday originally celebrated the contributions and achievements of American workers on the first Monday of September, creating a three-day holiday. A good thing. But some of us work harder getting ready to celebrate the day off than we do on a regular day.

Taking a day off is nothing new, and Americans were not the first to call for a break. That honor falls to our loving God. Here are a couple of references to check out:

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work” (Exodus 20:9)

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done “(Genesis 2:2)

The Bible also speaks to overworking:

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy” (Isaiah 55:2).

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness” (Proverbs 23:4).

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2).

However, God does not frown on hard work, and He has a few things to say about that too:

“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate” (Proverbs 31:31). 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). 

All in all, it seems that God is telling us to keep things in balance. On this coming Sabbath/Sunday/gathering-for-worship weekend, why don’t we give it a rest, giving ourselves a rest as well. And while we’re at it, let’s give God all the credit for blessing us so much.


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Mary picked up the glass of water on the nightstand and took a drink. “The light grew and as it grew, it flickered. I knew immediately what was happening and could think only of dousing the flames. I grabbed two pails and ran to the pump. The fire was in the corner stall at the back of the barn. I poured several buckets of water over it, but it wouldn’t go out. It spread, as if following a path, and quickly climbed the wall.”

Mary’s breath caught and she closed her eyes against the vision.

Helen touched her arm. “You don’t have to tell me anymore, honey. Just rest for a while. You can tell us later.”

Mary set the glass on the stand and shook her head. “I kept filling the buckets. They got heavier and heavier, and the flames crawled higher and spread across the hay loft. I couldn’t stop it—I couldn’t stop it.”

She fell against the pillows at her back, breathless. “Then Hugh was there, whirling me away from the flames. He wouldn’t let go but backed us away from the barn, and we stood there watching it burn.”

She fought to hold in the sobs.

Helen stood over her and smoothed her hair. “Sleep, child. Give yourself a chance to rest. Everything will be all right. It always is.” ~Hope Is Built  Colorado Book Awards finalist

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2 thoughts on “Give It a Rest!

  1. Mary Ellen

    Davalynn, I saw occasional messages about your grieving, but do not understand what happened to your first dear husband. So sorry for that loss. Now in a recent email I see you are remarried. Congratulations! I want to understand. Is there a place where you have shared what happened? Perhaps it is too difficult to write about. ❤️& 🙏

    1. davalynn

      Mary Ellen,

      Thank you for your response. I wrote about my grief in three blog posts that can be found here:

      My first husband fell in 2014 and suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him with paralysis and dementia. He was in full-time nursing care until 2021 when he went to perfect healing and a permanent home with Jesus.

      The Lord recently blessed me with my current husband, also a widower, follower of our Lord, and a pastor. A friend said to me several months ago, “God is love. Why wouldn’t He give you love again?” Such a tender encouragement.

      Thanks for reading.


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