Last year I made a commitment to give God my Sundays as a true day of worship and rest. The last quarter of 2012 had been very stressful for me, and the pressures of my work were going to continue into the new year. Having a day to spend with God resting my body and mind sounded very appealing. So for the better part of 2013 (with a few exceptions for family events), on Sundays I attended worship services in the morning, had lunch at home, and spent the remainder of the day in bed with my bible, computer, and journal. There were opportunities to work and temptations to play, but I was determined to give myself time to recoup my strength and energy, and time to really give Him my attention.
What a novel idea! Oh wait…it was God’s idea in the first place. “Earnestly remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (withdrawn from common employment and dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:8-10
Let me rephrase: last year I decided to obey God and make my Sunday’s a true day of worship and rest. I don’t believe God is too terribly concerned as to whether we give Him Sunday or Wednesday, or Saturday. I do, however, believe He created us to need a day of rest from our labors and time to develop our worship relationship to Him. A day dedicated to Him, making Him the center of our lives with no distractions. He had a plan.
It has been the most deeply rewarding and fulfilling commitment I have ever made. It has changed me. It has deepened my relationship with Him more than words can describe. I’ve learned so much from His word that I wonder where my spiritual life would be now if I had been giving Him what He asked for all these many years! The sacrifice of the time was an act of worship in itself. It honored Him, and He in turn began to open doors for me to do exactly what He has called me to do. And He was faithful to do what He said He would do: He led me by still waters, refreshed and restored my soul, and led me in the paths of righteousness – showed me more of His way of thinking and doing (Psalm 23). It is now a lifelong commitment for me.
This last Sunday we received a notification that brought upheaval to our lives. My very first reaction to this bit of news was that anxious knot that begins in the stomach. My thoughts began racing, “What are we going to do?? How are we going to work this out??” Being an excessive planner by nature, my brain immediately began going through a mental list of everything I needed to do and how quickly I was going to have to make things happen. I was just about to jump out of bed and get to work when I heard Him.
“It’s My day.”
“Yes, Lord, it is.”
“Wait with Me. I’ll lead you and help you. Don’t give in to the pressure. Wait with Me.”
I pulled the covers back over me, grabbed my bible and opened to Psalm 112 “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments….prosperity and welfare are in his house….light arises in darkness…he shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting in the Lord…his heart is established and steady…”
You know that verse that talks about “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)? It washed over me like a flood!! I refused to give the enemy the day. I spent it praying and praising and RESTING. When Monday came I was up for the task ahead of me that required much physical stamina.
But better than the rested body was the change in my attitude. This unpleasant circumstance had overnight become a situation I was getting excited about! I kept telling my husband “This is going to be an adventure!” I have been able to keep my peace and my joy and watch God do amazing things in just a few short days.
Today I stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. As I turned to leave I grabbed a fortune cookie, the very last one in the bowl. Once in the car I broke the cookie, retrieved my fortune and here’s what it said:
A bold and daring adventure is in your future within the year!
HAHA!! I love God’s sense of humor!