Has Covid 19 given us the opportunity for fresh starts? Our answers may vary but what we hope to agree upon is that amazing God is in control, listening, and responding to our prayers. Unusual times offer opportunities for trust and reevaluation. Our prayer prompt for today is “Give thanks for fresh starts and new beginnings.” Our dear friend Cindy Krall slows down to reflect on the things God is speaking to her about Sabbath and new beginnings. May her words spur you on in prayer and help you anticipate new beginnings with excitement.
I laid on our couch for a Sunday afternoon nap with our daughter’s seventy-pound dog. My fingers curled into his furry warmth as I watched him dream. His eyelashes twitched, and his muscles rippled. The pads of his feet flinched. I was in awe of what must be happening inside of him.
“God, what a marvel it is that you made dogs dream. Your works are wonderful! But perhaps there’s an even greater marvel on display. The “thing” that you are doing in me right now. Being Still. Resting. Wondering over wonder. I don’t do this near enough Lord. And You and I both know it.”
My dear friend Kelly would never say she’s a “great prayer.” She’ll admit to falling into the same trap the rest of us do. Sometimes we think prayer is supposed to look a certain way. Before we know it, we believe the lie that we’re not good at it or not worthy of it.
But Kelly never gives up, and she helps the rest of us not to either. Her prayer prompts serve as reminders that we can talk to God about anything and everything. Her recent prompt “Give thanks for fresh starts and new beginnings” made me smile because I knew just what it meant for me. It was about the Sabbath and on this particular Sunday— it looked like watching a dog dream.
Stars have been colliding in my life around the subject of Sabbath. These stars have taken two forms:
• Repeated messages of Sabbath and what it means to rest.
Recently, God plopped a study of Sabbath in my lap only to follow it with a new series from my church on rest. He preceded those things with multiple ministries that I’m affiliated with (including my own) speaking about and living out Sabbath.
• The arrival of COVID-19. Talk about a once in a lifetime opportunity to push the reset button. Priorities, callings, and duties are being reevaluated. We all have rhythms in life that have existed for years, maybe decades, many of which would never surrender to anything less than a global pandemic.
And so here I am, pondering colliding stars and what God is teaching me about the Sabbath. Fun fact: when stars collide, there is an initial burst of light, and then afterward, one of two things happens. The stars will merge, and a new, brighter star will form OR the stars will explode and collapse into a black hole. Talk about a fork in the road.
I couldn’t help but think, “Lord, when it comes to the Sabbath, I want my choices to result in more light… not a black hole! Show me what that looks like.” Over the past weeks, He’s been opening my eyes to truths about the Sabbath through various scripture. I’ll share just a few:
“Besides Me, there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6 KJV
Pausing on the Sabbath allows us to lay down our burdens and remember that God is God, and we are not. Stillness helps us honor the truth that we are finite. God is the only one who can be two places at the same time. Sabbath helps us accept our own limitations as we rest in the knowledge that we are cared for by a God who knows no limits.
“Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8 KJV
We’ve all heard this commandment. God elaborates on this commandment more than any other. But recently, He’s drawn my attention to the word remember. Remembering is important to Him. It wasn’t uncommon for God to ask the Israelites to pile rocks in an area where He had done a great work. He knew they needed the physical and spatial reminder of His faithfulness. Sabbath is our modern-day “rock of remembrance.” It gives us an opportunity to reflect on God’s tender care for us and devotion to us.
“My lover is mine, and I am his.” Song of Solomon 2:16 NLT
Ruth Barton shares in her book, Sacred Rhythms, the unique perspective the Jewish culture has of the Sabbath. “Far beyond mere duty and obligation, they even have special words and metaphors to express… the love of the Sabbath. This was the same emotion found in medieval literature’s references to the chivalrous love that knights felt for their ladies.” Wow, it seems that Sabbath is God’s invitation for a romantic picnic or dinner out.
I’ve only scratched the surface of this “fresh start” God wants me to experience each and every week. He’s awakening a hunger in me for it. Perhaps in you too?
If there’s one thing these unusual times have offered us all it’s the opportunity to reevaluate. I can’t think of a better time for new beginnings!
Pray with us: Father, every day is a new day filled with fresh mercies from above. Thank you. When things are unusual, difficult, and strenuous sometimes we forget the Creator. You are the master of beginnings. You created the beginning. You make each of us a new creation. Thank you. Help us rest with you while we wait for new beginnings. Amen
When asked to describe herself, Cindy’s first response will usually be “wife to Jeff and mom to Matt, Tay, and James.” It’s a role she cherishes above all others, but God keeps reminding her that she’s also a communicator, both in written and spoken word.
Technically her introduction to the world of publishing began with a story about two valentine hearts, one with lace and one without. What would the heart with lace do for the laceless heart? You’d have to ask her first-grade teacher. She’s the one that liked and shared the book. Since then Cindy has written for ministries like the Pocket Testament League, been featured in online and written devotionals like Arise, and published work in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Cindy speaks at women’s events—big, small, and in between. Although she loves every setting, her favorite gatherings are the ones that happen around a kitchen table or in a living room. She believes that it’s a glimpse of heaven when women can meet, be real, and experience what God’s Word does best…reveal, restore, and redeem.
Cindy considers her ministry journey over the past decade a privilege, but she’s hugely excited about the next chapter, the one where God has linked the like-hearted women of Sisterhood Ministries.
Cindy left the field of speech pathology when she and Jeff (a.k.a. Doc) had three kiddos in three years. Diaper changing took precedence over everything else. She and Doc live in the home he was born and raised in, fifty yards from a small lake in South Dakota. When her young adult children aren’t keeping her busy, you’ll find her on her laptop or a yoga mat. Or in the kitchen licking the spatula from a recent baking project that had something to do with chocolate.
Get to know Cindy better on her website.