“New” Truth

Why are we magnetically drawn to some portions of scripture and repelled by others? I think it has to do with our familiarity and candlecomfortability of the verses before us. Growing up, I was taught that “Remembering the Sabbath” meant attending worship…and eating pot-roast – if you want to be really technical.

In the church of my childhood we did not spend much time in Numbers 15:27-31. Here’s the gist:

“While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day…Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘This man must die.’…So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death…”

Does that make you squirm a little? It does me. God seems to take Sabbath keeping quite seriously.

When we come face-to-face with a “new” truth we have not fully received or embraced, how do we respond?

Conveniently ignore it?

Deny its relevancy?

Wrestle with it?

Take it at face value and change our ways?

On our journey to the heart of God, a truth rediscovered, takes us into unfamiliar territory. It’s often an eye-widening experience. This biblical account tells us of a man who lost his life because of his disregard of the Sabbath. On this we must pause and ponder.

What in my life has died as a result of my disregard for Sabbath keeping—my sanity, peace, health, joy, vibrancy—not by the stones of others but stones of my own making? Am I a member of the walking dead, crushed by the weight of overload and chronic fatigue?

Run Hard. Rest Well. invites the Body of Christ to come face-to-face with a slew of “new” truths revolving around the power and purpose of rest. As we face these “new” truths in this New Year, may we drop our defenses, then drop to our knees. May we together, as pioneers of a better way, have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts that soften to the truths of God, truths that steer us away from death to new life.

As 2014 begins, may we commit to something powerful and irreversible through an an on-going exploration of the rhythms of rest. January posts will set the stage for our New Year together.

In February, we are going to tackle real-world questions. My list of questions from readers is growing. Keep sending them my way.

Beth Ortstadt wrote the December 23 Christmas devotion entitled “Silence,” not me. Sorry! We are creating a Christmas book together and can’t wait to see it published some day. Beth is a dear friend, gifted writer and captivating speaker from Kansas.

First time here?

10 thoughts on ““New” Truth”

  1. I struggle with the Sabbath due to my crazy retail work life. Only one state that I know of allows one to choose if they want to work Sunday’s or not. I praise God because he knows my struggles. I shout joy to the Lord because he walks with me. I am on my knees always pleading for his gracious mercy. It is a battle being in the world that doesn’t seem to see the importance of having that one day off regularly to give thanks and praise to Lord while holding your family ever so tightly. The only thing I can seem to do at this moment is give thanks and praise to the Lord everyday. Rest when He tells me to rest.

    • Erin,
      The battle is so very fierce, but many don’t even recognize it. I read your note with joy and tears, Erin. I sense your hunger and delight. You know His rest! I hear your joy in it. It’s a roof-top joy that shines a light so brightly on its Source. Keep running. Keep resting. You honor Him. You are fueled by Him. That’s where it’s at. No cookie cutter form, just the sweet, regular call from Him who knows what we need. “Come!” We hear it in Is. 55, Mark 6:31, Matt. 11:28. Come — “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

  2. Brenda, another zinger….straight to the heart. I was raised with the work ethic that these are the things you DO…. everyday. There was no day off…day for being alone with God. Even now it’s a struggle. But here are the results: the majority of my gut has been removed because stress knotted it up, limited food intake allowed, limited things I can eat, constant pain, limited walking, limited social interaction, limited standing or sitting, falling regularly, and worry by those who watch my struggles. Don’t want to rest and allow God to heal? Please don’t end up in my shoes. Look up at the sunshine and enjoy the rain. Find the bird singing in the tree. Look at the phone you have to answer and say a prayer for the caller before you answer. Give a smile. Expect God to fill you up as you share His love. I’m ready to learn my friend. It’s not so good right now.

    • Oh Betty,
      Your passion comes through your pain. Praying for you this very minute — Josh’s Red Diamond “prayer” from Is. 54:10-12. We will learn the ways of rest together.
      Blessings my friend. Brenda

      • This is a great chapter and I have much underlined. Verses 4-7 have held me close in the arms of Jesus and assured me of His love. Verse 1 has had special meaning to me as I watched the children I taught Sunday School become “mine”. Verse 10 has been powerful…now 11-13 will be added. Verse 13 is just one of those verses that a mother holds on to cause she know she can’t hold onto her kids and only God can make things right. Don’t much see how I bless and guess that’s good. Another 6 pounds lost in less than a month. This cannot continue without the doctor intervening in a way I won’t like. Pray I will eat in spite of the pain. The devil is not going to starve me to death!

        • Betty,

          Do you have pain after you try to eat? Terrible pain!?

          I had gastro paresis. My stomach muscles were paralyed/not working properly. I lost so much weight. I could not eat. The pain was terrible. The clenching of my stomach muscles then caused my diaphram to shorten and then I couldn’t breathe. it was a nightmare. Initially the docs said, “You can’t have gastro paresis, only people with diabetes have it …”

          I FINALLY ended up on Reglan. It caused/forced the stomach muscles to work — and slowly I was able to eat again. HAD to take the meds 30 minutes before attempting to eat.

          Then a PT rightfully diagnosed my breathing issues and “stretched” out my diaphram. It hurt so much for 24 hours and then I could breathe again.

          Betty — I am praying that there might be something in my story that might a direction you could explore.

          PRAYING !!!

          • I do take reglan and have for some time. Because of the adhesions food does not pass through the gut quickly or painlessly. Eating isn’t the problem, it’s what happens to the food once the digestion process begins. There is trouble breathing from the pressure build up. All test have said the tummy’s fine, just not the small bowel. It’s like trying to push a softball through a straw. Ouch!

  3. I am praying for you Betty. There wasn’t much sunshine today, and there hasn’t been any rain either. It’s cold and grey in Buffalo, but I thought of you driving home from work today. I took a moment to enjoy the icy creeks rippling gently, the clouds in the sky, and thanked the Lord it wasn’t to windy or snowing at all. I took a moment to enjoy what he created. I would like to thank you for suggesting to say a prayer for the person on the other end of the phone. It is such a very nice gesture. I pray your softballs become soft and gentle.


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