Sunday, August 4, 2013

Thoughts on a Sabbath

Lately I have been thinking a lot about God's timing.  The "providential" plan and how it works together.  It is easy for me to dwell on how good God is, from this mostly comfortable place in my life.  It hasn't always been easy to remember God's goodness and faithfulness.  We have several friends in the middle of those types of times.  The out-of-a-job times.  The in-between-jobs, and is-this-the-right-thing-for-us times.  The why-can't-we-start-a-family times.  The money-is-tight times.  The if-I-am-in-God's-will-then-why-I-am-so-stressed-out times.  The I-am-afraid-of-what's-going-to-happen times.

If you are right there, let me offer you some encouragement.  It gets better.  What is happening right now is not IT.  There is a future.  By all means, plan, and prepare, and work hard, and follow doctors and family and boss' advice.  But take a rest.  Give yourself and those around you a break.  And remember that there is also a past.

I heard a really great sermon today from a guest preacher at our church.  He had some different things to say about the Sabbath, and used some different scripture references than I had heard referenced for discussing the Sabbath, but it was such an important message.  Using verses in Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Hebrews, he boiled it down to two points:

1-The Sabbath is not only holy because God declared it to be holy.  It is holy because that is the day to set aside from the toil and daily work of our lives.  Just as God worked at creation and then rested, allowing all of creation to reflect His glory and point us back to Him, so we are to work and then rest, getting rejuvenated so that we can rejoice in and reflect Him.

2-The Sabbath (or whenever we take our rest) is for reflecting.  Only as we look back properly (remembering all that God has done) and look forward properly (faithfully anticipating His future), can we live fully in today.

Living "fully in today" can be a challenge!  When we are stuck in the tough times, we get anxious to get out.  But remember.
Remember that the God who created the universe also created today.
The God who parted the sea and saved His people will redeem you.
The same God who knit you together in the womb has a plan and a purpose for you and your family.
God knows the desires of your heart; He put them there.  Relish in Him today and thank Him.

Take a breath and set aside a Sabbath.  Enjoy something today.

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