Day 12: The Gift of Sabbath

On Sundays during Lent, we’ll slow to a stop.  No more working, no more spinning, just rest.  Deep breaths leaning in.  Because He stopped and knows that we need to too. So come to the well to be refilled, and don’t worry about coming empty.



I slag, soul-aching.  The world feels fuzzy and I cannot see the Glory fullness. It is Friday, a scheduled Sabbath.  I left my children dancing around the babysitter, her smiling holding a plastic bag of dollar store treasure.  Out the door, I escape into the promise of meeting God.

I close the minivan door and drive, try praying, try worship music, try doing spiritual warfare, try thanking God for the frilly pink rose of Sharons planted beside the interstate.  All the doors I try are empty.  I’ve got nothing and the more I try to get something, the more I feel the straight jacket of anxiety tighten.

Installed at Panera, I open my computer, my Bible, smooth cream cheese on a sesame seed bagel.  All I say is, “Here I Am” and in my first search, Philippinans 2:13 pops up on my mobile in the Amplified.  “[not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” Philippians 2:13 Ahhhh, I need me some of that.

I type my need:  I need You.

I come.

Barefooted, I step slowly up the aisle to the altar, hands out, eyes down, watching the ancient stones go by as I amble slowly towards You.  I try to yell, to get your attention but find even that takes too much energy and end up frustrated, sinking, kneeling on cold stones, then resting into child pose.  I ache empty.  Arms reach out and somehow the cold stones feel refreshing.  I lay still.  Still feels honest.

I feel a strong hand heavy on my back. I pick up my head and my eyes arrest on feet, pierced.  You are here. I place my hands on Your feet, inch my body up to pillow my head.

Here.  You are Here.  The Source of All, Present. I don’t have to run more, explain more, search more.  I can just BE here with You.  You cup my face in Your hands and lift me up to sit Indian style, then guide cup to lips, “Summer, this is my blood, my LIFE, strength for the journey.” Wine warms as it glides down my throat.  Bread: honey sweet and yeasty.  Holy Priest bringing Holy Things for me.  You are Present and I don’t need to beg.

“And if God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also graciously give us all things.” Romans 8: 32

And so I come.  Just as I am.  I come holding nothing…no twelve step formula, no four step plan, no written prayer and You, You lay a banquet for the fumbling, for the hungry, for the empty.

Summer Gross

How do you Sabbath when you are empty?

Wish to worship a little longer?


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