Bread for the Body, Hope for the Soul

A week ago Monday we got a new bed (king, Tuft and Needle), we started taking a conglomeration of supplements, and I got some specific prayers prayed over me. This week was full of joy, hope, good sleep, and a sense of peace I haven't had in a long time. What came first, the supplements? The sleep? The prayer? I don't know, actually, and whenever I've tried to put my finger on the source of the peace, it eludes me. 

This past weekend we took almost four days to just completely rest, turn off our few electronics or leave them at home, read a few novels and a few non-fiction books, get our hands dirty in soil, swim (and scrub) in our pool, take a spontaneous trip to a suburb of Dallas we both love, slip into church and slip out, take some inventory of our health, joy, fruitfulness, and marriage, and just spend some good time talking through some things we needed or wanted to. It has been the most restful four days I can remember.

I've been thinking a lot about health the past few months. Mine hasn't been at its best for over a year. Doctors couldn't put their finger on it and so it's just felt like a giant mystery. The whys mount and the answers aren't found, and meanwhile the rest of my body has suffered for the lack of answers. But alongside this physical body, there's also a spiritual one and an emotional one, and those three are more intertwined than most of us acknowledge. I have felt at times paralyzed in all three of those areas this year and have struggled with the limitations. 

Yesterday as Nate and I drove home from a gathering we talked about how the recognition of our limitations is actually a really healthy thing and if all the past few years have been is simply that, we're okay with it. We are not superhuman or invincible, we're not saviors, we're not the strongest or wisest person in the room, we're not the most healthy physically, we're not the ones with all the answers. This has been a humbling journey for both of us and, on this side of things, we're able to see how the aching, humiliating, and longing has brought us into a better place. 

There have been days over the past two years where the spiritual, physical, and emotional manna I wanted to horde wasn't available, and I've just had to subsist on what I knew on that day. God is good. God is faithful. We are weak. We do not have what it takes to see this through. We have failed. We are hurting. And yet, every day brought new manna. I can't explain that kind of goodness and I can't understand it—and in many ways, if I'm completely honest, I don't want to repeat it. 

The past few weeks have felt like the morning before Sabbath when the Israelites were given the double portion of manna (Exodus 16). They still weren't given enough for the whole week ahead, but they were given enough hope for tomorrow and strength for today. I feel that hope and strength coming back to me. 

I feel it when I speak with others, sharing God's faithfulness and listening to their stories, their pains. I feel it when I wake from a good night's sleep. I feel it when I remember we're fighting a spiritual battle and those take different kinds of prayers. I feel it when I am able to think and speak clearly. To be candid, I feel it in my entire body, as the physical symptoms begin to come into focus and I can stare at them freely, without shame, without confusion. 

Maybe you're in a Sabbath weekend right now, enough for tomorrow and today, clarity coming quickly and answers abounding. Or maybe you're not. Maybe it's Monday or Tuesday or Thursday, and you're wondering if God is hearing and answering and coming and bringing and healing. I don't know that he is because he did and is for me. I know that he is because that is who he is.

He promised to never destroy his people and he's not destroying us, even as we feel chipped away at and refined in every place. He's pressing, but not crushing, wounding so he can heal, lighting fire to so he can burn away what's not eternal, pruning so you can grow, but never destroying the parts of you that image him. 

I'm praying for you today, if that's you. God isn't surprised by our anger or sadness or disappointment. He isn't. He's not surprised by our lack of faith or the presence of doubt. He's not swayed by our bad theology or—get this—our seemingly perfect theology. God is a Sabbath keeping God. He keeps the Sabbath for himself (Gen. 2:1-3). He keeps it for you (Ex. 31:13). He made it for you (Mark 2:27).

Sabbath is coming soon. And until then, today's bread is enough, I promise you, it is enough.