But this afternoon I finished it: Blissfully swaying in the hammock outside my friends’ house, the warm sun shining on me, 74 degree Southern California January air caressing me, with the pool nearby. (For a NY girl, this is pure luxury.)
I laid there between intervals of reading and closing my eyes to meditate on the words, while asking God what it meant for me. Having finished, all I can say is: WOW.
The whole book was about how God’s name is “I AM” and ours is “I am not.” Realizing that we are small and He is huge. I loved it.
What God spoke to me the most through this book is the importance of taking a Sabbath day: Not a day to work, but a day to rest, and to remember who God is and who I am not. This quote from Louie’s book (page 109) totally hit home with me:
“You see, the Sabbath is not so much a day off as it is a ‘day up’ – a day to remember that He is God and we are not. Without Sabbath, we forget who we are and lose sight of who He is, leaving us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. When there is no Sabbath in our lives, we become intoxicated by the lie that the sum of our lives depends on our effort alone. We get to the place where we truly believe that the outcome of the Story fully depends on us.”
He talks about how God has always been at work and can achieve more with or without us, in one breath, than we could ever achieve on our own. He says that when we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, or refuse to rest because we think we always have to be doing, doing, doing, it’s because we’ve forgotten how small we are and how big He is.
I realized that when I can’t rest, it’s because I don’t really trust Him.
Louie talks about how mankind’s first day on earth was a day of rest. Adam wasn’t tired. He wasn’t overworked. But God started his whole time on earth with: Rest. Likewise, each of our days should start from this Sabbath rest of remembering that He holds the whole world, and we don’t.
I was convicted to take one day a week for the remainder of this spring’s “tour” to have a Sabbath day when I rest, when I don’t work on stuff, when I don’t worry about stuff…I just rest in Him and remember who He is and who I am. When I shut out distractions and draw near to Him.
It’ll be like fasting – from busyness and my to do list – which will be crazy hard for me! But I want to get into this habit, because really… if I can’t take one day to just be with Him and celebrate all He’s done that week, and rest in His omnipotence, then I don’t trust Him.
So today is the first day of that. It KILLS my flesh to say that, because I can think of 101 things I need to do today. Well, that I wanted to get done today. I hate being unproductive. But what is more important than spending time with the One who masterminded, wrote, stars in, and carries out this whole eternal, epic Story of life? What is more important than being near and with I AM?
Louie’s book reminded me that really, I can’t do ANY of this. All the things I try to make happen…I can’t do it.
Only He can. And He’s already been working before I arrived, He’ll continue working after I leave, and He’s not relying on me to complete any of this. He’s only relying on Himself. It’s the power of His Spirit at work in me that’s doing it – it’s not ME that’s doing any of it! So if He calls me to rest, then I can rest. Because He’s the One doing it anyway.
One of my favorite quotes is on page 20:
“…our preoccupation with ourselves puts us at odds with God Himself, given that any attempt to pump up our names is, in effect, an attempt to push Him from the center and steal His glory – a quest as tiring and futile as trying to extinguish the sun with an eyedropper.”
Thank You God for this reminder to be still and know that “I AM” is God. That You are I AM, that You are God. And that I am not. What a beautiful relief!
(Want more info on this awesome book? Click on one of these links: Author’s Website – More Info – Read Chapter One – Author Bio – Note/Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)