Lenten Devotional – March 5, 2023

Sunday, March 5, 2023
The Razor’s Edge: The Sabbath as a Taste of Heaven
By Cris Waters

“How grand the sight was that was displayed before me as the day broke in its splendor. . . I was ravished with the beauty of the world. I’d never known such exaltation and such a transcendent joy.”

This passage may sound like something similar to my last devotion about God’s beautiful creation, but I chose it to represent something else in this case. At the time that Larry says this, he’s telling about his time in India. After spending time with many people learning the language, and studying philosophy, and even spending time in an ashram with a much sought-after teacher, Larry goes off on his own to a forestry shack that a friend has access to. He lives there very sparsely and does a lot of meditation until one morning, while watching the sun rise over a lake, he has this moment of joy and exaltation. This can be interpreted in several ways from the Hindu philosophy perspective, but I just want to think about it as a moment of closeness with God. A taste of Heaven.
As I was getting ready to write these devotions, I did some poking around the Internet looking for different ideas about the Sabbath (at the time still trying to see how this novel fit into the idea), and I came across an article on bibleproject.com that talked about how when we truly rest, we become places where God’s presence can dwell; we are practicing for eternity in His presence. And I think that’s what this moment is for Larry. It’s telling, I think, that soon after this he packs up his things and finally makes his way back to America, maybe not having all the answers to all his questions, but enough understanding to go back to “regular” life although Larry never does return to the life his friends and family wanted for him. He gives away his money and returns to America to be a trade worker, a mechanic or taxi driver, living small but happy.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11: 28-29
Larry did indeed find rest for his soul in God. The burdens of conventional life’s expectations; the world’s wanting of excess in everything, despite its shallow and unrewarding response; his questions about evil in the world. These all fade away when he takes that real rest, and he gets that taste of Heaven.

Heavenly Father, help me to create the Sabbath in my life. Take my burdens and give me rest. May I open my heart and create a dwelling place for you.

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