Habits of a Transforming Heart: Sabbath
This article is part of a larger series called Habits of a Transforming Heart. You can see the other articles in the series here:
- Part 1: How CanI Really Change? – Surrender
- Part 2: How Will God React to My Mess? – Staring
- Part 3: Why Can’t I Stop Myself? – Stopping
- Part 4: Why Can’t I Keep Going? – Stepping
- Part 5: Why Is There Never Enough? – Sabbath
“Why is there never enough?” I sigh.
Spent. This word I use to describe my emotions and energy today is quite telling. I’ve overdrawn, and it’s all gone. If only there was a kind of emotional or energy credit card that I could use to bail myself out. But wait, that’s where comfort snacks, Netflix, and substance abuse could come in. They would fork out an emergency loan to pay the overdraft fees and interest, but I know they can never pay my growing debt to impending burnout.
God has unlimited resources. He never sleeps or grows tired. He’s always fresh and rejuvenated. It’s a bit like that annoying morning person who’s gabbing at you while you are waking up with coffee. But maybe the Greatest Morning Person of All knows a bit about emotions and energy. Once you’ve had your coffee and are coherent, listen in:
My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water. – Jeremiah 2:13 NLT
How often do my energy and emotional reserves seem like a leaking, broken cistern that I cannot keep full?
Cisterns by definition are limited, as are humans. It conjures up the idea of hoarding every drop we have found on our own, lest our fears come true and we run out. Scarcity.
Springs of water by definition keep “springing,” bubbling up from within, endless in supply, like our Eternal God. It conjures up ideas of extravagant abundance, making it unnecessary to store it for the future. All you need to remember is where the spring is and return often to drink.
A habit I’m trying to grow in my life is the rhythm of Sabbath. A simple walk on a well-worn path to the spring of living water to drink and be filled. It doesn’t have to be Sunday; ideally I drink from the spring every day in some way. No longer do I have to hoard my energy and emotional strength in broken cisterns. I actually want my life to be poured out like a drink offering, and then filled up from the Eternal Spring of Life.
Sabbath is remembering that we ourselves cannot hold or control the water. The Spring holds and controls the flow. There we find our Source, drink to the full, overflow with praise, and lead others to where life bubbles up, endlessly and effortlessly.
Further Reading: The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan
Janet Sketchley says
Well said, Laura, and thank you for this affirmation of the value of Sabbath rest — never legalistic, but always refreshing and refilling. I agree, the book you recommended as further reading is very helpful.
“…the rhythm of Sabbath. A simple walk on a well-worn path to the spring of living water to drink and be filled.” — love this!
Diana C Read-Miedema says
Beautiful description Laura about fresh water daily rather than storing it and becoming stagnant. One of the best stories in the New Testament is when Jesus talked with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, and publicly proclaimed for the that He was the Messiah and living water
John 4:13-15 Amplified Bible
13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not get thirsty nor [have to continually] come all the way here to draw.”