The Trouble with Sabbath

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

“I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!” Psalm 121:1-2

Well, actually the trouble is with me, trying to take a Sabbath… The thing is, anxiety is no respecter of time off. However much I free my calendar of activities I can’t as easily free my mind of worrying thoughts.

Anyone else?

Our family took 5 days in the mountains over our spring break (why there was no post last week) but I found myself unable to enjoy the quiet or the beauty or the freedom from chores and errands. My heart and mind were tied up in knots over things that couldn’t be solved (by me) in our life right now. And without the distraction of the busyness of life, I had to confront those things.

I went to the Lord pleading for help. I poured out my thoughts and doubts about the impossible situations we were (are) facing and how helpless I felt. I asked for more faith. Freedom from the anxiety plaguing me. And in the silence that followed my tears, I felt, or “heard” Him sing to my heart:

He’s got the whole world

In His hands

He’s got the whole wide world

In His hands

And He added my name and my children’s names and my husband’s name to the refrain.

And my anxiety faded like nothing but mist. Sabbath! Rest!

And can I tell you something? One of those impossible situations resolved the day we got back. God took something that seemed terrible and turned it into a blessing for us!! Something I didn’t know we needed came to us out of it all that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Ashes into gold.

That is the God we serve, so boundless is His power and wisdom and love for us!

What worrying thoughts do you need to pour out and entrust to Him today?

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Praise Him

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

Last week I shared that my family is going through a tough time. Of the many things I’ve been praying in this season, one I repeat to the Lord is that we would honor Him in this time with our actions and attitudes. But that prayer begged a question – what does that even look like?

One thing to do (and also something I wrote about) is to be brutally honest with God about how I’m feeling. Not to accuse Him or whine, but as an act of surrender of those emotions and desires.

(Try it!)

But yesterday I also learned (or rather, finally understood) another way to honor Him during hardships. I was all set for one of those super honest prayer times while driving home from a meeting at church. I shut off the worship CD for quiet when the Spirit grabbed my heart. Turn it back on I felt Him put in my heart.

Spend time the time praising Me.

So I turned it back on. I listened to the words for a minute, considering deeply the words I had sung often more absentmindedly than thoughtfully.

It’s all Yours, the day and the night, the earth and the sky, God it’s all Yours. … God You reign…

I began to sing, choosing to mean every word. A declaration to the angels and the wind flowing past my window (and any other drivers who can read lips) that despite the quaking of my knees at life circumstances, God, the maker of the universe, was the author of my days as well.

I stopped thinking so much of my own circumstances and troubles. I couldn’t – after even five minutes of thoughtful heartfelt praise I was consumed with Him, in awe of Him. And I realized more than ever that praise is His due. All the time, no matter what.

It was an act of faith, and it bolstered my faith.

And I think it was an answer to my question – how do I honor Him in this hard, heavy season of our lives? Same as always. I praise Him. Because He hasn’t changed! And the amazing wonderful things He has done stand forever worthy of our adoration and proclamation.

And that God who parted the Red Sea on behalf of the people He loved and called? I know He will also part the sea I’m facing.

Amen. And praise the Lord!

Go on – do it…

🙂 👏 🙌