Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Rest of God...and a Time to Sabbath

Two nights ago, I was awake for all but about the last three hours when sleep finally claimed me.

This is a fairly common occurrence, and generally I assume that if awake, perhaps it's because the Lord has something to say to me.

If, I've tried talking to Him, and that doesn't help me fall back asleep, then my go-to is His Word, with one simple question: "Is there something I need to hear from You, Lord?"

As I mentioned in last week's blog, my schedule has been a bit wonky, and good time in the Word (my life-line to Jesus) has been somewhat sporadic.

AND...when I am sitting with Bible open, of late it's been to engage in study for the purpose of one of the many things in which I'll be leading/teaching/mentoring, rather than to absorb myself in my relationship with the Savior. 

So it was that I opened my Bible to the Psalms, and began reading Psalm 27 in the New Living Translation. 

I stopped when I got to verse 8 (see the opening photo...and thank you, Mandy Mace, for the picture I stole). 

The Psalmist, King David, wrote six words that I needed to hear: 
"My heart has heard you say..."

In prayer, I asked back, "Is there something my heart needs to hear, Lord?" 

"Yes," said He, 
"Come and talk with Me..."

"I think I do that fairly regularly, Lord, throughout the day..." I replied.

Yet, in my heart, I knew. 

My talking was just that...

...me, talking.

Not me, listening.

REALLY listening to Him for just me....

To clarify, I knew I paid attention to His voice, yet, always, it was with something else in mind:
A new blog, a bible study I'd be teaching, (likewise) an upcoming seminar, or a board event, or a women's retreat on the horizon...

The word "Sabbath" kept popping into my head; but, from what?

I knew I couldn't cancel everything...nor did it seem the Lord was asking that of me.

Yet, it did appear the Lord wanted more of my FOCUS (my own Fresh Outlook Centered Upon the Savior)...

...and, He's extended an invitation to be more in tune with Him.

To give more of whatever steals the bulk of my mental time and attention...

Well, for me, right now, THIS (my blog) consumes much of my contemplation....

It didn't take rocket science for me to determine that He's asking me to step back from blogging for the next two months through the remainder of the summer.

In doing so, He's inviting me into a place of Sabbath rest.

The "rest of God" (as author, Mark Buchanan calls it).

In fact, in his book by that name, I copied this quote (below) to remember. It seems a perfect way to end this blog as I enter a season at  "Rivendell."

JRR Tolkien gives one of the most entrancing descriptions of the true nature of Sabbath. In book 1 of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he describes a time of rest and healing in the house of Elrond in Rivendell. The hobbits, along with Strider, their guide, have made a dangerous and almost fatal journey to this place. They will soon have to make an even more dangerous, almost certainly fatal journey away from it. But, in the meantime, this:  For awhile the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power of the present. 

That's Sabbath!!"

What a sweet bidding...to which I responded, much like David did:

"Lord, I am coming!"