Staring out the sash window I washed vigorously last week, I watch drips of rain cry on clear panes. Curtain panels dance as wind rattles the frame and howls through the cracks. Beyond, an ivy drape of verdant spades flutter furiously on vines when violent gusts blow through the garden. Wiping my index finger across a layer of black grit on the window ledge above the couch, the dust implores me to remember who I am and why I need a Savior.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103:13-18
Precepts. It’s a word used about as often as blustery to describe the weather. A word that began my journey into Sabbath-keeping when I first read it from Psalm 111 on a quiet morning, while a bird choir serenaded me from tree branches.
All his precepts are trustworthy ultimately translated as this: Sabbath is trustworthy. You can trust me with rest.
I didn’t fully believe in Sabbath as God’s generous gift until I began trusting him with doubts about relinquishing time. Because faith without action is not really faith and wishful thinking cultivates stagnancy.
Today on Ash Wednesday, we begin our pilgrimage through A Sabbath Journey for Lent, an eBook I wrote as a gift to you, my dear reader.
Maybe for you, this day is just another middle of the week hump leading to more of the mundane. The thought of sacrificing one more blessed thing makes you feel as though you might fall into a heap and melt into the concrete.
Consider this: What if Ash Wednesday comes with a divine invitation attached? Begin again without jumping through more spiritual hoops. Stop striving, choose rest, and remember the sacrifice of Christ anew.
Set time apart to meet with God and see how he blesses every blessed minute you have breath.
Forgetfulness is the cost of choosing not to rest. Forget who you are and why you work in the first place.
My challenge for you is this. Over the next forty days, once a week, give up a day of keeping busy for abiding with Jesus through rest. Forget being consumed with matters of the body to focus on matters of the spirit. By resting a specific part of your body each week, allow God to bring fresh revelation, meaning and purpose, especially during the unexpected storms of life.
Empty time and allow God to fill the space.
Release inner turbulence swirling through your soul into God’s capable hands. Through the cracks of our brokenness the Light of Christ breaks into the mess.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Be not so terribly angry, O Lord,
and remember not iniquity forever.
Behold, please look, we are all your people. Isaiah 64: 8-9
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Download this printable March calendar for encouragement to persevere with prompts from Chapter Three in Rhythms of Rest. And join the Sabbath Society, a community of thousands who say, “I’m all in,” when it comes to making rest realistic instead of miraculous.
As we rest our eyes, words, feet, ears, mind, and hands, which part of the body do you think you will struggle with resting the most? Tell me in the comments.