A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

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In the Quiet

You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.  Exodus 31:13 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.My friend and I tried for several weeks to coordinate our calendars for a game of golf. Finally, we found an afternoon when we were both available. We talked about our jobs, families, and church responsibilities. Each of us commented on how busy we are.

“I’m not as proud of my busyness as I used to be,” he said.

I nodded.  

“I realized not long ago that when I take time away from work I get a headache. I talked to my doctor about it. It seems I’ve never learned to rest. When I try to take time off, I feel nervous about what’s going on back at the office, about getting behind on things. It makes me physically ill.” 

Life throws various stresses at us—jobs, school, family drama—making what God told the Israelites to do difficult, to observe the Sabbath. When we find a moment to relax, we can’t turn our minds off, sit still, or take a deep breath. Our inability to rest damages us physically and spiritually. Hurry jeopardizes our souls, leaving us weary and vulnerable to temptation and distracting us from the Father.

Meister Eckhart, a German philosopher from the thirteenth century, observed, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by subtracting.”

When we subtract hurry, distraction, and anxiousness, the fog of busyness dissipates and we see, maybe for the first time in a long time, the beauty and glory of our Lord.

In order to honor the Sabbath, we must break from work and rest, pushing the mess of life from our minds, hearts, and bodies. We focus on God—remembering and worshipping. In these moments, God is the Lord who makes us holy and molds us in the quiet.

So sit on the back deck with a glass of sweet tea. Or beside the creek with a fishing pole. Or in a quiet chapel with a Bible. Put the phone away, close the Outlook calendar, and exhale. Mediate. Reflect. Gaze upon God’s glory, and let Him cleanse your soul and fill your heart with His holiness.

Breathe in, breathe out, and be filled with God’s presence.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Daniel Overdorf

Daniel Overdorf serves as Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Director of Preaching Programs at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee. He earned degrees from Johnson University, Lincoln Christian Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife of twenty-five years spend most of their evenings watching their children play softball, basketball, or perform at choir or band concerts. His most recent book is One Year to Better Preaching: 52 Exercises to Hone Your Skills (Kregel, 2013).