A Sabbath Rest From Worry

Today’s Word:  TRUST

Today’s Sabbath Practice:  Creating a Sabbath “Box”

This is the fourth post in a series on Sabbath.  Check out ways to Plan, Prepare and Stop for Sabbath.

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” – Matthew 6:26-27

If worrying could add a single hour to my span of life I would live to be 100! Truth is, worry steals more time than it gives, creates more problems than it solves and leaves us exhausted from a constant barrage of worrisome thoughts and paralyzing ‘what if’s’ that almost never actually happen.

Lately I’ve been schooled by the deer that come through my yard in the mountains.  Every day they have to “worry” about getting food for themselves.  They can’t do anything to make food appear.  They can’t plant fruit trees or grow corn.  All they can do is get up and go look in the places where they have found food before.  Like the crab apple tree at the edge of my yard.

In spring, before the apples have begun to drop, the deer will eat the leaves off the bottom branches and get up on their hind legs to snag the low hanging, though still unripe, fruit.  Every day, twice a day, they come back through the summer and the fall, getting their fill of the small treats waiting for them on the ground.

Even in winter, as snow covers the ground and temperatures hover at zero and below, the deer still come.  The clusters of crab apples hold on to the branches for a long time, some of them clinging long enough that they drop well into winter.

God Provides

No person I know likes crab apples. They’re sour and dry and mealy.  But it turns out God didn’t create the crab apple tree with humans in mind; it’s there to meet the needs of other creatures, even and especially when times are the most harsh and bleak.  Because that’s what God does.

I don’t know what you are needing today; how you need to trust God and God’s ability to provide for you.  A relationship.  Finances.  Difficult decisions.

For me, this week, it was sending my baby girl off to college.  How will I know that she is okay when I don’t see her car in the driveway when I wake up in the middle of the night?!

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows your needs.  – Matthew 6:32 (NLT)

Rest From Worry

“Do not worry.”

Sabbath is the time to turn our worries over to God.  To experience true rest from worry.  To remember that we are people of faith and that God can be trusted to provide for us.

God cares so much for the smallest creatures that he’s hardwired into the universe a way for their needs to be met.  How much more will he care for you and me?

Today’s Practice:  Creating a sabbath “box”

I use a mental sabbath box to keep thoughts of worry from encroaching on my time of sabbath.  As worries enter my mind, I imagine putting them in a box, giving them to God to hold.  The issues or problems don’t magically disappear.  The situations aren’t resolved in that moment.  But I feel rest.  Sabbath rest from worry.

Maybe you prefer an actual physical box.  As worries enter your mind, write them down and slip them in to the box.  Put the box aside knowing that God can handle your life for this time of sabbath and long after that.  Later, when you take them out of the box, you may find that sabbath rest has given you a new perspective on what used to consume your thoughts.

Worry cannot add a single moment to your life, but it can certainly take moments of joy away.  Sabbath is about experiencing that joy.

For other ways to use a sabbath “box,” check out Wayne Muller’s Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Daily Lives.

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