About the Episode
Church abuse, hate crimes, school shootings, the news this week has announced more than one tragedy in the US. In other parts of the world, wars raged on and catastrophic events claimed lives. It can all feel very overwhelming, devastating, and hopeless. But Sabbath reminds us that God is near to the brokenhearted and He desires for you to rest in His comfort. Today, we’re discussing 7 ways the practice of Sabbath helps us navigate the broken moments in this beautiful life.
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You’re listening to episode 38 of the Simply Sabbath podcast.
Rest doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. If you feel like you’re about to break from exhaustion. Let me invite you to Simply Sabbath, a podcast for the burnt-out Christian mom, who longs to get back to the core of who she is and to reclaim the deep joy and stabilizing peace Jesus has for her in her every day– without the mom guilt that often accompanies self-care practices.
Hi, my name is Rachel Fahrenbach and I help busy moms just like you add a simple restful family Sabbath to their week. So they can experience a refueling that gives them exactly what they need to live the life that God has called them to. I’m so glad you’ve joined me today. Let’s get to it.
I had an entirely different episode plan for today. Summer is upon us, and so I thought it’d be probably good to talk about how our Sabbath practice changes with the changing seasons.
But in light of this week’s event. In which hate crime, school, shootings, and church abuse has just continually shown up in the headlines, I thought it would be important to talk about how Sabbath it’s so vital to the way in which we navigate tragedy.
This week has reminded me a lot of the pandemic. Not the beginning of the pandemic, not when we first went into shut down, but a few months later. When the novelty of being in a space where we could just rest and we had all the time in the world, we had nowhere to go and no demands on our day… once that novelty wore off, people started to feel their emotions and started to vocalize them about different policies, about systematic racism, about church culture, about all the things that were happening during that time.
And the reason it reminded me is that we were as a country experiencing tragedy, and in my space, in the space that I occupy in this author podcaster industry. A lot of my social feeds are made up of others in that industry too. And so our jobs are to share words that’s like the whole thing we do. We share thoughts and opinions. Um, bring ideas to the forefront, explain them, delve into them and present them to others. And so when your social feeds are made of of lots of people who do that, the social feeds can be a little overwhelming with the conversation that’s happening. Very highly opinionated, very highly passionate people sharing their thoughts on tragedies that you yourself can barely process.
It’s overwhelming. It is. And this week, I started to see that happen again in my social feeds.
The interesting thing about the pandemic for me, is that when most of the world– I would say the majority of people, when the majority of people were excited about the shutdown, excited to try new hobbies, excited to have more time as they’re with their families, when that whole aspect of the pandemic was going on when people are caring for sourdough starters and um trying to learn how to do yoga or whatever it was when they were exploring all these things. Reading more. Playing games with their family. Because everybody was home and they were resting for the first time in what was probably ages for most people… my family was going through tragedy.
You see a week into the shutdowns, I experienced a miscarriage.
And not only did I experience loss of a child, of hope, of this expected and wanted new season in our lives, we were isolated from friends and family. From my mom’s arms wrapping around me and comforting me as I grieved. And during that time, the thing that kept my head above water was Sabbath.
Because we had already started that routine, we had already begun it long before the pandemic hit it was the one constant. It was the one thing that didn’t change. And in a time when nobody could comfort me, God comforted me.
In the weeks and months that followed, with every new twist and turn the pandemic brought along in our lives, our Sabbath practice may remained a constant. It remained a weekly reminder that God was with me.
And so that’s what I want to talk about the next few minutes that we have together. I want to talk about the ways in which Sabbath helps us to navigate the hard times helps us to navigate the moments that are so big. And so overwhelming.
And I’m sharing these with the hope that it will encourage you to start a Sabbath practice if you haven’t done so already. And if you have, I am sharing these, the encourage you to lean into that practice. Especially when things get hard. Especially when it feels like the world is just falling apart.
Especially in those moments. Lean into the practice of Sabbath.
Okay. So the very first way in which Sabbath with helps us navigate tragedy, is that it gives us the time to lament.
Our lives are very busy. They’re very full of activities and tasks that have to get done. And Sabbath pulls all of that away. It quiets that demand on our time. It puts up a wall draw the line in the sand and says, Nope. This is not time for the demands of the world. This is the time for you to sit with the Lord. For you to rest. And in doing so Sabbath creates this pocket of time for us. Where our time doesn’t belong to anybody else but God. And it gives us the time to actually sit with our emotions. It gives us the time to feel all the feelings. It gives us the time to cry.
A few years ago. We lost my husband’s mother. And it was the first time where I have lost somebody close to me and I was in charge of the preparations. I pretty much navigated all the logistics of the Memorial service, my in-laws coming in, feeding everybody, all the things. And in that busy-ness of that task, I, I I couldn’t necessarily stop to grieve. Until it was all done. And then it hit me so fast and so hard.
And I think sometimes we go through our lives like that. Right? Like we were so caught up in keeping everything going that we don’t actually acknowledge what we’re feeling in those moments. And then. There might come a time where we’re forced to stop. And suddenly everything hits us and it’s like this overwhelming barrage of emotions that just comes at it us and we just lose it.
I don’t want to say that Sabbath keeps that from happening, but it does allow it to happen a little bit less frequently because it’s a weekly practice. And so, every week you’re sitting with your emotions. And so the emotions don’t necessarily build up. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t weeks where there’s so many different emotions that they do build up and they come here all spilling out at one time and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But there is something stabilizing in that you get to process your emotions week after week because you have the time to actually feel them. To think through what it is that is simmering underneath the surface. And so that’s the first way the Sabbath helps us navigate these hard times is by giving us the time to feel our emotions. It gives us the time to lament. It gives us the time to cry. It gives us the time to acknowledge that the world is not right. And our lives are not right.
The next way in which Sabbath helps us, is that it gives us a safe space to lament. There’s something very sacred and holy about Sabbath. And for me, I believe that’s because it’s a tangible practice that reminds us of the nearness of God.
God created the garden. He placed humanity in the garden, and then he dwelled with them. He rested with them. He lived life with them.
And then when sin broke that, he chose to live with humanity through the temple. And then through the work of Jesus on the cross, he now dwells with believers through the holy spirit and indwelling in each one of us. God is near to us. And the Sabbath remind us of that, that he is near to us, that we are in his presence. It is sacred. It is holy. It is safe.
It is a safe space to process what it is you’re feeling, and God is not afraid of your questions. He is not afraid of your emotions. He is not afraid of your doubt. And he will not be overcome by them.
You are on sacred ground with him. It is a privilege. It has beautiful. And you get to be there. You get to be their dwelling with him. Resting with him in that safe space. And so Sabbath gives us that safe space to lament. It gives us that safe space to cry. It gives us that safe space to process what it is that we are feeling.
The third way is that it reminds us that we’re not alone. You know, Sabbath is both a practice of the individual remembrance, but also collective remembrance. I think that this is one thing that the Jewish culture does a lot better than our Christian Church does in that it sabbaths collectively. They sabbath as families and they sabbath as a community. And in our culture, in the US especially, we forget that collective community aspect of things. And yes, we go to church, but we show up for church for an hour and a half, two hours. And oftentimes for the majority of us, and I’m not saying this is true for everybody, but for the majority of us, we go home and we go about our, our busy lives. We aren’t resting together as a family and we’re not resting together as a community. And so we forget that we also are supposed to rejoice of the community. And lament as a community. And sometimes there’s a disconnect with that. But Sabbath reminds us when we enter into it on a weekly basis, we’re reminded that we’re not meant to do this life alone. We’re supposed to do it within community with the Lord and within community of those around us.
And when we are reminded that we’re not alone, the tragedy we are walking through feels a little bit more bearable. Because we are not shouldering it all ourselves. We are sharing it with others. Which means we have a tangible expression of God’s comfort in the arm of a friend. So lean into that community. Lean into that remembrance. You are not alone. We were not meant to do this life alone.
The fourth way in which Sabbath helps us navigate tragedy, is that it forces us to set down our grievances when we want to go to war. I don’t know about you, but I am a fixer. When there is a problem, my mind immediately goes into how can I solve this? How can I make this better? How can I help? How can I fix this?
And especially if there’s been an injustice done. I go into, how can I defend? How can I battle for you? Or how can I battle for myself?
And while there is a time and place for all those things, sabbath reminds us that there’s a time and place to put them down too.
To release the things have been done to us or to those we love, and to put them at the feet of Jesus. To allow him to take those grievances up and fight for us. We do this through prayer. We do this through worship. We do this through lamenting.
There’s so many times in the Bible where it says that God heard the cry of his people and he fought for them. He swooped in, he intervened. And so there the time and a place, how can God intervene? How can he fight for the cries of his people? If we’re not crying out to him?
How can he intervene if we’re not first lamenting?
Sabbath gives us that space to set down our grievances, especially when we want to go to war, especially when we want to fix it, especially when we want to make everything right. It allows us to set those things down. It reminds us that the Lord is the one who fights for us. First we need to put it down so that he can intervene. That there’s a time and a place for lament. Just as much as there is a time and a place for action. And sometimes we discount that. Sometimes we think that it’s not enough. But it is enough and Sabbath reminds us of that.
Okay. Number five. Sabbath reminds us of God’s faithfulness when we’ve been let down by humanity or by ourselves.
Especially in weeks like this week where acts of violence are committed by one individual against another. When we become aware of those and we’re just reminded again of how people can let you down. And not just people, yourself to. You can let you down. You want to do a certain thing in you don’t do it. You want to act a certain way, accomplish a certain thing. And you don’t do it because of various reasons.
th reminds us that even in the midst of all of that, even in the midst of people letting us down again and again, and again, God doesn’t. God is faithful. He is a faithful provider. He is a faithful friend. He is a faithful confident. He is a faithful sustainer.
God is faithful. He shows up.
He doesn’t forsake you. He is faithful to you. And he shows up again and again, and again. To be there for you. And Sabbath reminds you of that. It reminds me of that. Each week, it reminds us that we are not without his love. Without his compassion. Without his perseverance.
He is faithfully there. We can depend on him. He is not going to let us down.
Number six. When we are surprised by the brokenness of this world, Sabbath reminds us that it’s not always going to be like this.
Sabbath reminds us that it wasn’t always like this, that God created the world with the intention to dwell of humanity and a beautiful garden. With purpose and dignity for us. But sin has broken that.
And even again, when God gave the practice of Sabbath to the Israelites to steward, he reminded them through that practice that one day. He would restore. He would make right. He was there. He was faithfully providing for them. And even now on this side of the cross, Sabbath reminds us that one day he will come again and he will restore and make right all things.
God is making right the world. And one day there will be a new heaven, a new earth. And this brokenness that we see that surprises us that catches us off guard. That creates such a pit in our stomachs. Because we know how wrong it is. We know it’s not supposed to be like this.
One day, it will not be like this. And Sabbath reminds us of that and it gives us hope. When the world is looking at it and saying this is hopeless or all just doomed. We know the truth. We know he’s returning. We know he will make right all things. And there will be a healing that will take place. That will right all these wrongs and once again restore that garden kingdom.
And number seven: sabbath restores us physically emotionally and spiritually. So we are ready for the new challengesof the the coming week. We know, we sit in a space where things are not going to be fixed overnight. We know we sit in the space where things are continuing to be fractured by sin. We know we sit in that space.
And while we have a hope that one day Jesus will return. And we know he will restore and make all things right new and beautiful and fix the brokenness. We know that today is not that day.
And Sabbath gives us a, stabilizing peace, a refueling to our souls, in a way that prepares us for the new challenges of the next week.
And that can sometimes feel it can sometimes feel tiring to be constantly facing new challenges each week. I get it. My husband and I just talked about this last night. About how it’s just so tiring sometimes.
But that practice, that weekly practice of Sabbath. It slows us down. It gives us a space to rest physically, emotionally and spiritually. It reminds us. Of our identity. Of who we are of whose we are. It reminds us, our purpose, why are we here in the first place? It reminds us of our belonging. We are his. We are part of a community.
It reminds us of all these things. It gives us a stabilizing peace. It restores us to face the new challenges.
This life is beautiful. But it is broken. But each week we have this gift. This gift of stopping and resting so that we have enough to face the next week.
We don’t have to allow the leaks to compound one on top of the other. We can stop and we can rest. And in doing so we are able to navigate the hard times with Jesus. With each other.
In a space where a lament is allowed.
Where striving is allowed to dissipate.
And a wholeness and a reliance on God can take place.
My prayer is that you are able to find some time during your Sabbath practice to lift your voice up to the Lord. To cry out to him to feel all the things you are feeling as you’ve processed the tragedies that have taken place.
So I’ll leave you with this question this week: do you fully lean in to the gift of Sabbath when tragedy strikes?
And if you know somebody who is struggling this week, either because of the headlines or maybe a personal tragedy in their own lives. Would you just share this episode with them? Share with them the gift that Sabbath can be for their lives?
I appreciate you. I am praying for you and for us as a community. May we all remember that God is near us. He is with us. Especially when we are broken hearted.
See you next week.
Hey, I just want to say thank you for joining me for today’s conversation. I know many things demand your attention. I don’t take lightly the privilege it is to share your time. I want to make things as easy and simple for you. So I’ve linked to all the resources mentioned in the episode in the show notes, and you can always find the link and more helpful information on my website, www.simplysabbath.com.
As we say our goodbyes, let me remind you that what we’re talking about in this podcast is not just another thing to add to your to-do list. This is not another expectation for you to live up to. It is a gift out stretched from the hand of your creator. An invitation to press pause on walking alongside Jesus in all the things He’s called you to do. And instead the down, across from Him and just be with Him.
It is an invitation to Simply Sabbath.
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Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!
I help busy moms add a simple, rest-filled family Sabbath to their week. If that sounds like something you want for your week, but don’t know where to start, grab this free how-to resource: The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Simple Family Sabbath.