I'm on about four hours of sleep so it goes without saying that I'm looking forward to Shabbat. But I've got a fair amount of things to do before then because, honestly, taking a day of rest can be a lot of work. It takes thought and preparation to arrive at the seventh day with your immediate needs provided for. Making sure your fridge is stocked, the clothes you need for the day are washed, and clearing your schedule is work. It's easy for Friday afternoons to become a whirlwind of stress and the frantic pace of trying to get everything done. The to-do list overflows into the seventh day and we work to get everything done even on Shabbat. It's easy to enter Shabbat a couple hours late feeling exhausted and anxious.
This is, however, not what our Creator had in mind when he gave us the joy of a day of rest. Shabbat is not a reward for checking off our to-do list. He does not to say to rest if we have everything done.
The first Shabbat we see in Scripture was taken by YHWH himself.
Beresheet 2:2 On the sixth day YHWH ended his work that He had made; and rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had made.
I find it interesting that YHWH still had quite a bit of things to do. In six days he formed most of Creation, but he had yet to make Havah. We can look further into his schedule to know that he needed to give Noah instructions for the ark, break down the tower of Babel, appear to Abraham, free the Israelites from slavery, give them the Torah, guide them as the pillar of cloud/fire, speak through the prophets, send Yahusha into the world, and on and on. YHWH wasn't resting because he was finished working.
I think we have certain expectations for what a day of rest looks like: sunny and peaceful, delicious meals waiting for us in the fridge, a pristine home, and the to-do list so checked off that not a single chore crosses our minds.
While that sounds lovely we are going to become frustrated and disappointed if we look at Shabbat as something we do once we've completed all our work. No matter how much you accomplished this week there will be plenty to do next.
Shabbat rest is not negotiable. It's not a reward for getting everything done. We don't rest because we have finished working. We rest so that we can keep working.
It's okay to rest even if the kitchen is a mess. It's okay to rest even if you have a big paper due on Monday. It's okay to rest when there remains work to be done.
Yochanan Moshe 2:27 The Shabbat was made for man, and not man for Shabbat.
In other words--Shabbat was made for you to rest, not for you to get everything done before then. Yahusha's statement here reminds us that there aren't complicated rules to Shabbat. He does not require that we light candles or bake challah bread. He does not ask that our homes be immaculate or everything to be in order. He tells us that he made Shabbat for us that we could rest, no matter how hectic the rest of the week was or will be.
Shemot 20:9-10 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the Shabbat of YHWH your Elohim.
This Shabbat give yourself permission to rest. Even if there's still stuff to do. Even if you don't feel ready. Give yourself permission because YHWH does.