Sabbatical Reflections

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Greetings, friends!  It’s been a long time, I know.  You may or may not know that I was on Sabbatical the last 3 months of 2019.  That’s why I disappeared here, but it’s also why I’m writing now.

I’ve been in full-time ministry, essentially, since 2001.  During those 18.5 years, I’ve ministered to youth and to adults.  I’ve lived in the U.S., France, Morocco, with shorter stops in East Asia, Central Asia, etc.  During that time, there were ministry successes and failures, seasons of thriving and seasons of suffering.  So, I was excited to have the privilege of taking a sabbatical.

My greatest fear, though, at the beginning of the sabbatical was that I’d screw it up.  That every day I would find myself thinking, “Am I doing this right?  Am I wasting this precious opportunity?  Are the things I’m doing going to accomplish what I am hope to in these days?”  That was the flesh.  Yes, I wanted to have a plan and some goals for the time, but the point of a sabbatical isn’t accomplishment, but renewal.

That was another fear, I knew what I wanted from the sabbatical.  Besides physical rest, my major goal was spiritual renewal.  But, how do you plan for that?  I can take naps like a champ, but there’s nothing I can do to guarantee the refreshing and energizing of my soul before God.  Only one person can do that!  So, over the next few weeks, I’m going to let you guys in on what God has done for me.  I’m going to testify to the reality that God has graciously done transforming and restoring work in my life through the sabbatical!

Some of what I’ll share are what I call “ahas.”  Things I’ve learned about myself or about reality that I hope to incorporate into my life moving forward.  Some of them, though, are holy gut-punches – the Lord peeling back callouses on my heart or digging His finger into infested wounds in my soul.  And it’s primarily been these things that He has used to bring renewal.  I think of Ephesians 5.13-14 as the best descriptor of God’s work of bringing light into dark spaces.

13But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

When we’re asking to be exposed, for the Lord to shine His drag-everything-out-into-the-light-of-day sunbeams from the face of Jesus, then revival, awakening, resurrection can happen!  I hope you’ll follow and COMMENT as we take this journey.

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