I looked out of my window on Friday morning and I saw brown, dead grass. I saw trees with no leaves. I saw bushes without flowers or leaves. This is no surprise since it is winter in Michigan.
There is snow and ice and nothing is growing. The trees, grass, bushes, flowers, and other plants are resting. Winter is the time set for creation to rest.
Recently, I read in Leviticus–yes, I know; not the book most people read, but it was the lesson in BSF–I read in Leviticus about the year of Sabbath Yahweh put in place for the Israelites. During this year, the 7th year, the Israelites were to let the land rest. They were not to plant or harvest. They were to spend the year resting and waiting on the Lord, trusting in Him for provisions. It was a year to start over.
Our dear friends from Seminary recently announced they were going to be spending the next 6-12 months waiting and resting in the Lord. But with this sabbatical, they don’t know what happens at the end. This is a Trust Adventure as they call it where they resigned from their work, sold their house and most of their belongings, and are hitting the road to follow where Jesus leads them. They are waiting, listening, and learning where God wants to place them next and where He will use them for His glory.
As I have been pondering their decision, I have wondered, am I being called to this also? Right now I believe the answer is no! But as this theme of rest and renewal keeps popping up in my life through Sunday’s, Bible Studies, and friends, it makes me stop to ponder.
They are waiting, listening, and learning where God wants to place them next and where He will use them for His glory.
God has put a time of waiting and rest into creation on a yearly cycle. Every year we have winter. Every year the plants sleep and are renewed. And every year spring arrives. Sometimes not as soon as I like, but even last year spring came and the plants bloomed.
God placed this cycle into the plan for the Israelites as a way to bless them, to strengthen their trust in Him. God has placed this time of renewal for my friends as way to bless them and to strengthen their trust in Him.
Where does He give me this time of rest? Where does He command this time of rest and renewal for me? Renewal and rest are a daily, weekly, yearly, and once in a lifetime sort of command.
Where does He give me this time of rest?
Daily, I am called to rest in the Lord and His Word. Weekly, I am renewed and strengthened in my faith as I join the community of believers to hear the promises of the Lord. Yearly, I receive vacation or times of rest where life is not quite as busy. And maybe I will receive a once in a lifetime sort of rest such as my friends received. Or that rest may not come until the end of my life and I am called to rest from my labors until the Lord comes again!
Where are you in your cycle of work and rest? Are you in the dead of winter, where rest and waiting on the Lord are commanded? Or are you in spring and being asked to grow? Are you in the year of Sabbath waiting on Yahweh to provide what you need and being strengthened in your trust for everything? Or is this a year that you are commanded to work and harvest?
No matter the command you have now, the Lord intends to bless you. As you follow His commands, He will provide what you need to follow. He will provide what you need in your rest. He will provide what you need to grow.