A NOTHING THANKSGIVING
"The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between Me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed."- Exodus 31:16-17
When we speak of the holidays we sometimes describe the season as one of "rush" or "busyness". A few weeks ago I found myself in a dilemma to answer the demands coming my way. On this one Friday morning, earlier in the month, I was notified of a church issue that needed my attention. I began to plot out a timeframe where I could swiftly address the situation. I determined the best route for getting the job done and taking a call without interruption was a ten minute window from the school drop off to the park where Mia and daddy were heading to play. Everything seemed aligned for a successful outcome, except for what I knew to be a major point of compromise I would be making by taking that call!
The problem wasn't that my cell phone had exceeded its minutes or that I was incapable of coming up with a solution to the issue. The only thing keeping me from getting the job done was that it was a FRIDAY. You see I have set aside Friday's as my Sabbath day of rest for the last eight years. As much as possible I try keep that day set aside for physical rest, meditating on the Lord's goodness, and spending quality time with the family. By setting that day aside for worship to God, rest for my body, and time with the family, I choose to PUT ASIDE the need to answer emails, finish sermons, schedule meetings, or return phone calls. So after having my heart alerted to the pending violation of the Sabbath, I chose the best thing possible in that moment. I decided to "DO NOTHING". I left the issue unaddressed and the need unanswered until I returned to the church on Monday.
In that moment of slowing down and surrendering the need to the Lord, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt my heart that sometimes the best thing to do in a situation is to not do anything at all. As I thought about the ramifications of my REST choice, I felt a sense of peace knowing God was both in control of that need and was well pleased with my decision to honor Him with my Sabbath day. I was also reminded of the powerful truth of resting in the Lord that we see in the life of His Son. Jesus was so secure and comfortable in the care of His Father that He did not look to always answer every question, always react to every request, and always fix every issue. Of all the crucial and pivotal moments in the life of Jesus, perhaps none garnered a need for immediate action more than His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Yet, it is in this do or die moment that we see Jesus stopping, doing nothing, and finding peace in God's care.
* When He is arrested in the garden Jesus does not plead His case or seek escape.
"Do you think I cannot call on My Father and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?"
- Matthew 26:53-54
* When He was being wrongfully accused Jesus did not defend Himself.
"Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, 'Are You not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?' 'But Jesus remained silent."- Matthew 26:62-63
* When He was being questioned about His presumed guilt Jesus answered not a word.
"The chief priests accused Him of many things...But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed."- Mark 15:3, 5
* When the people called for Jesus to come down from the cross to prove His identity, He continued to bear the sin of the world and finish the will of the Father.
"They said, 'Let this Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."- Mark 15:32
As we come to this Thanksgiving celebration we are afforded an opportunity and a special time to reflect on the Lord's goodness to us. It is the right time to stop and rest from our furious pace of life. It is the right time to think about His abundant blessings. It is the right time to focus on our loved ones. It is a time to say "thank you" to the one who has loved us, rescued us, and supplied our every need. Truly our lives have been covered and each day is a gift. Psalm 91:1 speaks to the rest we so desperately need and that is so wonderfully available to all who call on the Lord, "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
As you remove the clutter from life's table and receive the abundance from the Lord's table, may your only agenda item for Thursday be to enjoy loved ones and celebrate God's faithfulness.
Hoping more than anything that you enjoy a...
HAPPY "NOTHING" THANKSGIVING!