Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sabbath Chairs

It was a God-thing. (We didn’t plan it; it just happened—a God-thing.) A few friends and I were setting up the room for our Sabbath-Living Retreat last May. The theme revolved around the white wicker chair Beth sat in while she told her story of learning Sabbath. We were placing the gift book, Choosing Rest tied with raffia on each chair and it dawned—the chair pictured on the cover of Sally Breedlove’s book was almost the same as the one sitting on the riser in the front of the room. God designed the platform, the giveaways, and the theme to all compliment each other and echo the words we were hoping the attendees would hear.

That was the beginning of the Sabbath chair theme I began noticing all around me.

A few days after the retreat my husband and I flew to Phoenix. We were staying for two nights in the guest house of good friends. When we walked through the door, I was overwhelmed by the number of chairs: little chairs (that a doll might sit in), large overstuffed chairs to provide comfort for weary bodies like mine, practical wooden chairs around the table, chairs in pictures, chairs for decor, and chairs to sit in. When I asked my hostess about them, she shared that when her decorator asked about her desires for the theme of the guest house, she responded that she hoped it would be a place of rest for those who stayed—thus the chair theme began.

Another friend often responds to a request or a question, “I need to sit with that”. Sit, rest, ponder, consider, and listen for the voice of God before responding. A good habit.

The familiar narrative about Mary recorded in Luke 10 commends her for sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to his teaching.

I too have favorite chairs that are places to sit, be still, and hear from God. As I pondered  these chair stories last summer, I realized that the word chair could be a descriptive acrostic and definition for Sabbath. I love acrostics; they help me remember.

C – It is a cherished time to be with Jesus; a time to contemplate and commune.
H – It is a holy time to hear from Jesus.
A – It is a time to give attention to the anchor and author of my life.
I – It is a wonderful invitation to me from God.
The view from my chair today.
R – It is a time to rest, refuel, reflect, and respond.

In her book, Choosing Rest, Sally says, “…we will never know an internal place of intimate connection with God unless we develop the discipline of actually making space in our schedule for “Sabbath” times, times like those God Himself enjoys.” (p. 140) I highly recommend her book to you.

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following (the Israelites’) example of disobedience.”
Hebrews 4:11, NIV


  1. LOVE this Sue....and the word Selah has special significance to me...My daughter,Amy, and her husband (and many friends)built a retreat for their missionaries for the purpose of REST and renewal....refreshment and refueling....they named it SELAH....and it is a beautiful retreat in the mountains near Czech with a breathtaking view....I just wanted to share that with you. Thank you for sharing is so necessary to REST!!!
    Love, Nancy

  2. Wow, that is so neat Nancy. Maybe God will allow a time of Sabbath rest some day for us at Selah in Czech! Wouldn't that be great?!