April 10, 2013
If you are about to skim through this blogpost because you have more important emails to get to,
If you haven’t opened your Bible since church on Sunday,
If you can’t get past “Father,…” in your prayers before you are distracted,
If conversations and spending time with people is stressing you out,
If the things that matter the most to you are suffering because of things that “make you matter”,
“Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10
All of the above apply to me and it sounds like it applies to a lot of you as well. Finals are upon us, the semester is winding down and there seems to be an inverse relationship between what’s left to do and how much time is left to do. We are exhausted, we are stressed, we are distracted. We are feeling dry and running on empty.
God commanded us a Sabbath for a reason. We run a million miles a minute because we fear that if we don’t we will miss out, or fall behind, or lose some kind of significance. God knows what we need. And He knows that we need Him. He knows exactly what is on our to do lists and exactly what actually needs to be done on that list. And because of that, we can trust Him when He commands us to set aside time for Him. He knows that we need that more.
He wants us to show faith by dedicating time to rest in His presence. I say faith, because we trust that this time is not wasted, even when we feel like we are losing precious time by the minute. As Americans, we feel entitled to having the weekend off from school or work. At least a day somewhere in the week. When God first commanded the Sabbath, that was not the case. Anyone who took a day off of work then would be considered a fool to lose precious time. And yet God thought it important enough to make it one of his top 10 commandments. Because God is faithful, He rewarded their faithfulness by providing for them that day.
On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”
On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day. -Exodus 16:22-30
Do we trust Him enough to give Him our time? We know we need Him when we get like this. Pretty much every person in my small group Tuesday had a prayer request along the lines of “everything is crazy right now, I’m overwhelmed, I don’t have time to do it all.” We recognize the need to seek Him for strength to do it all. Yet God shows us that we’re not likely to find him in the hustle and bustle. We’re not going to find Him in the craziness. We’re going to find Him in the quiet. In the stillness.
“There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” -1 Kings 19:9-12
Stop asking for peace while you’re running to class. Stop asking for direction or wisdom while you’re listening to your iPod. Stop counting your morning commute to campus or work as your quiet time. Trust God and set aside some time to seek Him and pray and listen. I promise you won’t fall behind in these moments.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33