“O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds You performed in their days, in the days of old; You with Your own hand drove out the nations, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, but them You set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You delighted in them.” Psalms 44:1-2
Fridays are my Sabbath day, many of you know this. I learned the importance of a Sabbath when God took me through writing Rest, and the rest has been history. 😉
I’ve gone back and forth on being good on my Sabbaths and I’ve gone through times when I’ve even gone out and gotten groceries on those days, or run errands. But deep in my heart I’ve always known that those are supposed to be the days I set aside just for God. Like a longer form of my morning devotions my Sabbath days are supposed to be just for me and God.
Lately, although I’ve known that some good old fashioned quiet time in prayer with Him is what He’s been longing for with me. I’ve not done it. I’ve allowed myself to become slave to my phone and the messages that constantly pop up onto its sweet little screen. The words telling me that I’m important to the people on the other side, that they need my help and my time. All the while there’s a tugging at my soul with the still small voice of the LORD calling me to “be still and know that I am God”. (Psalm 46:10) Yesterday I battled with myself for hours over this, back and forth and back and forth. I’d pick up the phone tap out a text or two responses and then I’d feel dirty and put it back down. I’d pray for a couple minutes the whole while the silenced phone tugging at my consciousness begging me to pick it up again just to see if there were any new messages validating my worth. Finally it all came to a head and I put the phone on my desk. I was exhausted from the hectic week and full schedule. I was exhausted from the emotional struggle I’d been on all morning. I was exhausted. So I went to bed.
My head no more than hit the pillow and God’s voice burst forth like a bubbling spring that had just been released from the pressure of silent captivity. He was so HAPPY that I had finally given up the fight and allowed myself to REST. I had finally determined that my sanity was worth more than all those messages. And in true Holy Spirit style, while the words He spoke WERE convicting, His voice was like a honey and butter on toast, sweet and smooth and warm with just the perfect amount of gratifying crunch that makes you happy on the inside because He is speaking the TRUTH and the truth sets us free.
He said “Grounded”,
and then showed me a picture of a palm tree (Tamar is the name of the date palm trees that bear the dates that were a main staple during Biblical times).
He said, “Your name is Tamar for a reason. I call you as you are not how you act. You are a tree, grounded and sturdy, strong and yet flexible. But that’s not how your acting right now is it? How do you feel right now?”
“Like a bobber on the end of fishing line, not really attached to anything just floating in the tossing waves trying to keep my head above the water… and it’s not working Lord. I want to BE that tree, steady and unmoving, but it’s so hard because I want people to LIKE me!”
“Sweetie you know better than that! It’s not about people liking you! It’s about making people more aware of ME through you. It’s about staying within the boundaries I’ve set for you, for your protection – not your captivity. You KNOW time with me in stillness is for your benefit, yet you’ve avoided it all morning, why?”
“They needed me.”
“Yes Baby, but you needed ME more than they need you right now. You’ve GOT to understand that. You’ve got to come to a point where you allow yourself to be weak and in need of a recharge from My hand. You’ve got to allow yourself to admit that you’re not the super mom, super friend, and super worker that you expect yourself to be. Because when you allow yourself to be weak (the way I MADE you) then you will be filled with MY strength and you know that it’s ever so much stronger than your own strength. So why fight it? Why waste your time and energy trying to do everything on your own when you KNOW that you can do it all so much better when you’re with Me? Sweetie, sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself and tell people “No”. Even if they don’t want to hear it. Sometimes loving yourself first IS loving your neighbor and being a good friend. Taking care of yourself IS taking care of your family and your friends. Recognizing that you’re tired and allowing yourself to take a time-out (and maybe a nap) IS taking care of your kids and your husband.
You know that when you are well rested you are happier. You know that when you’ve spent time in the Holy of Holies with Me you are more calm and peaceful throughout your day. You know that when you’ve taken this one day off the rest of your week goes so much more smoothly. You know these things, yet you’re allowing the people in your life to dictate whether or not you take the rest you need rather than listening to ME. You know this is the standard I’ve set for you: no leaving the house while the kids are at school, no talking or texting on the phone, no opening your computer for any reason, just time with ME. Yet every single one of those standards you’ve allowed the people in your life to stomp all over them. If you’ve told them that these are the rules I’ve set up for you, and they don’t respect them, then they’re not respecting you or Me.”
“Well, Lord, I don’t know that they know all that. I think I’ve really only told them that Friday is my Sabbath. I don’t know that I’ve ever really detailed it for any of them.”
“Hmmm… you’d better do that then shouldn’t you? How can you expect them to respect my boundaries for you if you’ve not told them what those boundaries are?”
*Thanks to Omgzi’s blog for these FABULOUS pictures!!! If you have time you should check it out, he has TONS of great information there! I will definitely be returning!