In the early morning hours, before the steam rises off the asphalt, I find myself considering rest.
I consider rest because in this season of life I am becoming well-acquainted with my own flesh and its utter depravity. Emotions run the gambit from sheer joy to the pits of despair and I battle depression as it’s breathing down my neck. Fear creeps up my spine in the late night hours and when fatigue has set in, my feelings lie to me about the state of my soul and the state of my being.
And when fatigue plagues me, the climb out of the pit is daunting. My flesh wars against the climb and compassion towards my own body, the very thing created in the image of God, is hard to muster up.
Shouldn’t I kill the flesh?
Shouldn’t I cut off all the broken pieces and lay down in my imperfections until I am at the end of me and at the beginning of Jesus?
And the only answer I can rest my soul on is this:
There is no end of me and beginning of Jesus. We are one.
In the seeing and tasting of my depravity, my flesh serves only to push further and further into Jesus.
And in Him, I consider my life and the months unfolding before me and I give time, this sitting on the porch early in the morning , for Jesus to sift my days like wheat.
I rock miles while I’m sifted and after weeks have passed, I am left with two palms full of what I believe to be His best.
I finger the things in my hands and I sigh heavy with each push of my feet, the chair sighing along with me.
This life I’ve been given weighs heavy with responsibility and heavy with purpose and I wonder how I can ever live this life well.
How does one live a life teeming with God’s best, overflowing with zealous kingdom work, filled with intentional pouring out, well?
How does one do all the things God has purposed for them without losing their soul and their strength?
And as the heat rises from the asphalt, I hear one word pulsing in my ears:
This evening, while the Man is away, I mark things off my to-do list and the work left to do does not tear at my flesh.
I toss in an extra load of laundry and swish the toilet. I send MOPS email and respond to messages and I plan ahead into next week.
The kids have frozen pizza and homemade milkshakes for dinner and I let them eat on the floor in the family room, in front of a movie. And as they cackle with laughter, I snuff out the guilt that flickers up from my belly.
I settle into my corner of the room and I count the hours until my very first Sabbath.
And I exhale, only to inhale the promise of rest.
In this season I am drawn to Sabbath. The word rolls off my tongue more than any other word and my soul leaps at the thought of it-
Not because I’m good and right and long to obey,
But because the Sabbath was made for me.
It’s a gift.
And I’ve never received it.
I’ve spent many weeks doing soul business, making space to clear the calendar and stop the madness, and I’ve come to the place where I believe that the things that still remain are God’s purpose for me.
I have sat many an hour at the feet of Jesus asking Him to help me do everything and love everyone and fall deeper into Him.
If you are a subscriber to our community newsletter, avent*ure, then you are privy to the goings on in my soul. This idea of Sabbath has been leaning into me with Shelly Miller’s Sabbath Society and only pressed into me further over the last six weeks as I’ve read a stack of books and participated in (in)courage’s Bloom book study of Jean Fleming’s Pursue the Intentional Life.
If I long to run my race with zeal and finish it with gusto, then I must receive the gift of Sabbath,
For it is from rest that I am able to run well.
To celebrate this gift of Sabbath and to invite you into the fullness of life in Christ, I am giving away the books I have read over the last eight weeks to one lucky reader:
To enter, leave me a comment pertaining to Sabbath. Do you receive the gift? Do you need to receive it?
Winners will be announced on Monday, July 7.