Saturday, April 16, 2011
Come to Me, all who are weary...
Did you catch Pastor Bob’s sermon on Sunday? It’s been bouncing around my head all week. His message – we need to rest in order to live and serve fruitfully (rest to better work, huh?) And God will make sure we rest, one way or another! In fact, I have a hunch that He even imposes that rest on His people who refuse to take it themselves. He did that for me a couple of years ago.
I was teaching Sunday school and my co-leader had jumped ship. Furthermore, my class had become an enormous group of combined 1st and 2nd graders. "This wasn’t what I had signed up for!", I bemoaned. Week after week, I plowed forward becoming more exhausted by the minute. My nerves were frayed, my creativity had evaporated, my patience was thinning, and my joy had all but disappeared.
One day, I bent down to retrieve something from the car’s back seat. Ouch! Piercing pain shot up my side. I could not even stand! And right then, my spinning wheels ground to a halt. There was nothing I could do but lie down and rest.
Rest. And think. And pray. And cry. I felt depleted and helpless. I had failed God and failed myself. Why wasn’t I able to pull this off? Maybe I just wasn’t cut out to do this work, I thought. That’s when God spoke up. Like a surgeon, He went right to the diseased spot in my thinking. He said, “I don’t love you because you serve Me. You serve Me because you love Me.”
The truth of these words washed over me like a healing salve. God loved me. Period. It had nothing to do with whether or not I served Him, or how well I performed at doing it. He loves me. And, only with a heart full of that love and dependence could I do anything worthwhile for Him. God didn’t NEED me to accomplish His work; but, He would ALLOW me to participate in it, if only I could understand my rightful role. In my weakness, He made me strong. In my rest, He gave me work.
Col 1:9 – 10 says, “Ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will … so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work”.
So go ahead. Take that rest you desperately need. Let His words fill you and cut away any wrong thinking. Do it of your own accord, or He will do it for you :).