Hope is the anchor of our souls. I know of no one who is not in need of hope – young or old, strong or weak, rich or poor.
(James E. Faust)
Okay, let me lay my cards on the table. I have not been feeling too well lately. One of the consequences is I have been feeling pretty hope-less. That is to say, I have lacked hope. I do not say this to elicit sympathy or for warm fuzzy comments. I say it simply because, it is a fact.
I will also point out (for the sake of honesty) this; it is my own fault. I cannot point the finger at anybody else, I have done it to myself.
I have this very bad habit of filling all my moments of my days with unceasing activity. I see what needs to be done and, I do it. I see what doesn’t need to be done and I do that too. The consequence of that is, I get “over tired”. When I am over tired, I lose vision and perspective and so I work harder to achieve and on and on it goes.
This is nothing new for me. As my wife pointed out “we have had the same discussion for the last 20 odd years!” Every year I promise I will do better, I have not managed it yet!
Things have been so “out of kilter” for me recently that my quiet times and devotions have been rushed and have been done more out of habit than anything else.
This morning was different.
I had more time available to me (which I wasn’t expecting) so I got to be a bit more leisurely with the Bible and actually listen to what God was saying to me. The passage came from Mark 2 when Jesus says;
The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath
(Mark 2 vs. 27)
It was as if God was reminding me of something that we have discussed more often than I care to remember. Sabbath is not a luxury it is a necessity and it is there for me to stop so that life can be brought back into perspective. I was feeling hope-less because I was Sabbath-less. I then turned to a verse in Proverbs which says;
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But a longing fulfilled is a tree of life
(Proverbs 13 vs. 12)
When we lose hope it is almost like toxins are released into our system. We can become negative, critical, angry, cynical and discouraged. We can even convince ourselves that God has abandoned us.
It is a lie
God never stops working!
What Sabbath can do is help us to change our vision. Refocus. It helps us to see what God is doing rather than what I think God should be doing.
The Sabbath was made for you, not you for the Sabbath
I feel a great deal better now!