It was M’s birthday recently, and I wanted to do something special. So, I looked into options for doing an overnight stay somewhere and remembered that my uncle had had a great experience doing AirBnB, and so I found a cute little log cabin to stay at in Hope (Hope is a 2-hour drive from Vancouver).
So, we packed my car and off we went. It turned into a retreat of sorts because the cabin was so isolated and had a beautiful view of Kawkawa Lake. After unpacking, we decided to take a walk outside.
While we were walking, I realized “Wow!” I know, very much know, the value and practice of Sabbath; I feel like I know it inside out. I know how Sabbath – taking time to rest from our busy lives – is an act of faith: trusting that God is still at work when I’m not and that my efficiency is not what determines outcomes. I know how Sabbath is a gift: trusting that God gave us time to recreate, to do things for sheer joy. I know how Sabbath is meant to be part of our rhythm each week: trusting that God designed us to veer between pouring out and filling up.
And yet, as we were walking I realized that I was finally at Sabbath rest. I couldn’t just know all the right things – I had to do them. I had to actually get in my car and drive for two hours. I had to rent a house. I had to put on my runners and rain jacket and grab my husband’s hand and go outside.
I realized that it’s nice to think the right things like I often do – imagining sitting on the couch with a great book, reflecting on how it might be nice to walk outside – but it’s a totally different ball game to do them.
Be encouraged: don’t wait until the moment is perfect, don’t think that you know what Sabbath is all about. It’s not possible until you just do it.
This book was probably my very favourite Christmas gift this year [turns out that the way to my heart is through books – big surprise, hey?] It is a aged copy (I can’t even find a publication date printed!) of “Abide in Christ” by Andrew Murray, a South African writer, teacher and pastor, who was concerned about the Church’s engagement with missions. The book is a compilation of daily meditations on Jesus’ words, “Abide in Me.”
Yesterday, I was blessed by this passage:
“Not less essential than for the commencement, is faith for the progress of the spiritual life. Abiding in Jesus can only be by faith.
There are earnest Christians who do not understand this; or, if they admit it in theory, they fail to realize its application in practice. They are very zealous for a free gospel, with our first acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on our diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, ‘The sinner shall be justified by faith,’ they have hardly found a place in their scheme for the larger truth, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ They have never understood what a perfect Saviour Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did on the first day when he came to Him. They know not the the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing in the one channel through which Divine grace and strength flow out into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Saviour to receive His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God.“