For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Posts tagged ‘fear’

Too Busy for Sabbath Rest

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Recently a friend admitted to me that she tries to avoid alone time with God because she really isn’t ready to let God in to the deepest areas of her life.  As long as she keeps busy, goes to worship, involves herself with church activities and says the perfunctory prayers, she feels she had done her due diligence with Sabbath. 

And I think she is not alone in feeling this way. 

Quiet, alone time with God brings about an intimacy that many of us are not ready for.  It can be scary and intimidating especially when approaching the throne of the Almighty.  Being active for God is not the same as being with or in God for a Sabbath moment or rest.  clouds

What fears keep you from sitting with God and sharing your heart?  What images of God do you have that could interfere with being present with your Creator?  How would you feel if you could let go of these fears or discover new images for God?  Would it change how you approach Sabbath time with God? 

Images of God can be formed very early in life and can often take a lifetime to reframe.  Far too many people have been taught about a judgmental, punishing God who gives demerits for bad behavior and stars for good.  Over the course of a life time most people feel their demerits weighing them down and getting in the way of going to God for guidance or comfort. 

Yet, the Bible is filled with many different images of God that don’t look or feel anything like the white bearded old man sitting on a throne of Sunday School lore.  The Psalms show God as a fortress, a rock, a light.  Isaiah talks of God as a mother loving her children.  Exodus lifts up the image of God as an eagle.  Jesus shows us the most intimate portrait of God as Abba which translates as ‘daddy’ or ‘protective parent’.  Jesus brings us the image of a loving, gracious God who listens and cares for us.  

I spent many years with an image of God who was punishing and judgmental until in a moment of deep despair, at my lowest point ever, I just broke down and prayed for help because I was in trouble.  It was then that my image changed because it was at that moment I felt God wrap me in loving arms and hold on tight.  

Looking closely at our image of God is an important place to start if we are finding it difficult to take Sabbath moments with God. 

Another place to start is to ask yourself “what is the most important thing I need to discuss/share with God today?”  As you begin to seek the answer to that question there can come a moment of realization that in just the asking, God has heard it.  If God has already heard your heart, what is there to gain from not listening and being with God for a while?  

What gets in your way of taking Sabbath rest time with God?  Is it really being too busy or is it something deeper that you want to avoid?  

God created Sabbath for us to rest and renew our spirits.  It is a gift that I have begun to accept and I am finding that Sabbath keeping keeps me at peace.  

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.”  Luke 10:38-39

Blessings,

Nancy 

 

 

Often times I start with the question…what is the most important thing I need to discuss with God today?

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Sabbath Moments in the Storm

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Well, last night we had another blinger of a thunderstorm complete with a tornado warning here in Woodstock, GA.  It came on fast and furious.  From the time of the TV warning to the time our sirens went off was about 3 seconds.  There was no time to get to the designated shelter for my apartment complex.  Fortunately, all we had was a wild and wooly thunderstorm and no tornado.  As I considered hunkering down in my inside closet and was looking around for something to put over my head to keep all those books and boxes from clunking me on the noggin, I caught sight of something flapping at the edge of my living room window.

Forgetting my mission to cower in the corner of the closet, I stepped closer to my window.  There clinging to the wooden frame was a huge luna moth.  It was folded up and it swayed back and forth like a door on a hinge.  I was certain that the wind would rip it from its perch and launch it into the stratosphere.

But it hung on.  Back and forth it swung all the while its little legs clung to the frame.  It had to be 7-10 minutes before the winds and rain calmed down; and yet, the luna moth was still there.  This little insect had ridden out the storm and was now fanning its wings out to dry them off.

I marveled at its strength in the storm and at how tenacious it had been in hanging on and not being swept up in the chaos of leaves, debris and falling limbs.  This was no small storm.  There were at least 2 trees that came down on the property and branches were everywhere this morning when I went outside.  And yet that moth wasn’t moved an inch.

Oh, how I wish I could be like that moth when the storms of body, mind or spirit hit.  Hanging on, not being moved, clinging with strength to the frames around me would certainly be my hope and wish.  Too often, however,  I’m like those limbs and maybe even whole trees that come crashing down when a wind blows through my life disrupting my plans. 

This is why I need Sabbath Moments.  They hold me steadier than I could be without them when the storms unexpectedly arise.   When I am grounded in faith, living hope and trusting in God’s grace, I am anchored and well protected when the storm warnings go off. 

What storms have you weathered better because of your time with God?  The luna moth is my new visual for strength in a storm and come to think of it, the way it was positioned on the window frame made it look like it was praying.  Not a bad visual at all, not bad at all. 

“As they sailed, he fell asleep.  A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”  He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided and all was calm.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water,and they obey him.”   Luke 8:23-25

“The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27.1

Blessings,

Nancy

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