As March begins, there is so much that will be happening quickly for us. We are in the process of shipping over to Israel the things that will help us settle into our apartment there. This has taken a lot of effort, which hopefully will be finished this week. Callie is in the last leg of her quarter at the University of Cincinnati. We have so much to finish, that sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about the work that must be done and the changes that are coming upon us in such a short time. Please pray for us as the Lord prepares us for what is ahead. We are both seeing how incredibly important the Shabbat is and Callie was moved by the Lord to share her impressions with you all this week.
In today's busy world, it can be a serious challenge to consistently keep Shabbat. Most of us are pulled from every direction to do something or go somewhere. I know I am. Rest just isn't of high value in our culture. As an architecture student, rest is a rare commodity. Our education process demands long hours of rigorous and physically demanding work. Its not uncommon for faculty members to stop by our design studio in the middle of the night to see who's working and who's not. Sometimes they are kind enough to bring snacks or coffee. With the intense homework demands that I face on a daily basis, its really hard to take time off, especially on a weekend. Days without interruptions for classes are usually the most productive, so keeping Shabbat has become an act of trust for me.
I've noticed that when we meet on Mondays, my classmates typically have about double the work from the weekend that I have. For the most part, this isn't a problem. I try to be caught up by Friday, but when I realized we had two Monday deadlines scheduled, I got really nervous! "How in the world am I going to be prepared for a review?" I would think. When we have a review, we display all of our models and drawings, then faculty members and our classmates critique our work. It can be both a rich and encouraging experience (if the project is good) or it can be totally embarrassing (if the project isn't up to par). Keeping Shabbat on a weekend before a deadline would likely place me in the latter category. So, I started praying and as I prayed, I had one of those mystic moments where the Holy Spirit opens your bible for you, exactly to the passage you need to read. This time it was Isaiah 56:6-7:
"And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
That was the word of the Lord on the matter, so I trusted that even if my reviews were not the best, at least I was storing up treasures for the next age. But the Lord likes to bless us in this age, and that He did! Both of my Monday deadlines were moved to Wednesday, and a Thursday deadline following one of the Wednesdays was moved to the next week! The Lord totally rearranged everything so I could keep his Holy day and still complete my work with success. What a faithful God we serve! I hope you will all be encouraged to keep Shabbat and experience the workings of the Lord as I have. Please continue to keep me in prayer as I finish up this quarter! Just a few more weeks to go! Blessings to you all!
Callie and Devin