when…

Many of us are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, the one about how God knows the plans for us. We quote it… tweet it… we give gifts like the plaques when teens graduate. Yet I wonder how well we handle the plans when they are so far out of our realm of understanding that we can’t get our minds wrapped around them. Let me share the verse and thought that has led me down this road today…

For 430 years, the Hebrews lived in Egypt. At first they were guests of Pharaoh because they were the family of Joseph. As the years passed, the Hebrews were oppressed into slavery where they slaved under the Egyptians until God through Moses brought them out. As I read through the directions God gave his people, I pause at a verse in Leviticus that speaks loudly to us too.

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work, wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord.” Leviticus 23:3

I listened to Andy Stanley speak of how the Hebrews may have taken this news of the Sabbath. Let me recap some of his thoughts then take them in a new direction…

Can you imagine the confused looks that crossed the faces of the Hebrews? A day of rest? What in the world could it mean? In our culture, we take for granted not just one day but a 2-day weekend. The Hebrew slaves worked every day of the year then repeated the next. They didn’t get days off or sick leave or personal days. Yet to them God said to work 6 days then take the 7th off to rest and worship. I wonder if they resisted the plan… I wonder if they worried about what would happen to their families if they dared to stop… Remember they had been conditioned for 400 years to work EVERY day.

Centuries later through the lens of education, we understand the benefits physically, mentally, and spiritually of rest time… they didn’t. Before we look at this thought and only think of the Sabbath, let’s broaden the scope. Remember my questions at the beginning? God had great plans for his people which were for their benefit even if they struggled to understand taking a day off. Maybe God is calling us to something or go somewhere or to explore some area of ministry that seems as strange to us as rest days did to the Hebrews. If so, what are we going to do about it? Will we say no? Fight it? Go along reluctantly? Embrace the calling? One thing we for certain need to do is pray and seek clarity then if the call continues, move forward. It may be years, if ever, before we can look back and see how God’s plan made perfect sense.

Dear Lord, I know you have great plans for me. Help me, Lord, to walk in them… even when they don’t make sense or I don’t understand why… make that ESPECIALLY when they don’t make sense and I don’t understand why! Please help me walk one step at a time. Amen!

when

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