On November 11th of this year I wrote in my journal:
“Yesterday I was so aware of how weary I am. Weary of certain parts of my life. Just parts, certainly not all. I have parts of my life that bring me joy and give me strength and purpose. But I was weary of some of the day to day stuff; same ole same ole. Not having something to look forward to at times. Weary of aches and pains I didn’t have a year ago. Of poor nights of sleep. Weary of loneliness that hits at times. Of being in debt. Of driving an old car. Of feeling stuck. Of regrets.”
Ugh….this is really depressing but it was real at the moment. Those feelings come and go fortunately.
Then I remembered, Jesus called the weary and heavy burdened to Him and He promised that if they came, He would give them rest. Right there. Right then. Suddenly, I felt glad for the weariness and the burdens because they were my direct line to His side and to His heart. I have come to Him certainly through the years but I felt a fresh call to literally do that again. To take Him up on His invitation and on His words. Those words weren’t just uttered as an alter call to the unsaved. They weren’t just a “Come to Jesus” call. Thank goodness for that. They are an invitation for all of our lives. Jesus knew life can become so heavy at times and so He offers us a real, viable solution for relief.
It’s coming to Him over and over again and believing He will give me rest and that He will take my burdens. Because the moment I believe that, truly believe, the moment I have faith in Him that He is literally going to do that for me, in that very moment I am relieved of my burdens and of my weariness. I choose to believe He will provide what He said he would.
I am reading again Ann Voskamp’s book for the Christmas Advent season called “The Greatest Gift” and there was a section the other day that reminded me so much of what I am writing about today.
She writes about the story in Genesis 28:10-16 when Jacob saw the ladder from earth to heaven and the angels on it going both ways.
“The real amazing dream is that there are no ladders to climb up, because Christ came down one to get you. Jesus Christ Himself interprets the dream: “I tell you the truth; you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” John 1:51
Jesus doesn’t show you the steps to get you to heaven—Jesus is the steps to heaven.
Jesus doesn’t merely come down to show you the way up—Jesus comes down to make Himself into the Way to carry you up.
Jesus doesn’t ultimately give you a how-to, because Christianity is ultimately about a Who-to.
Every religion, every program, every self-help book is about steps you have to take. Jesus is the only One who becomes the step — to take you.
To take us who are the Jacobs, the dog tired and the debtors, the deluders and the desperadoes. To take us who are the lost and the long way from arriving, us who are bone weary of all the trying and the striving. Christ becomes the one step we can never take — and takes us. He comes to us like He comes to Jacob—not in spite of our failings but precisely because of them.
Ours is the God who is drawn to those who feel down. Ours is the God who is attracted to those who feel abandoned. Ours is the God who is bound to those who feel broken.”
This is grace. I read those words and I am undone with thankfulness and awe. I want my relationship with Christ to be extremely personal and so does He. He wants to do far more for me and for us than I (we) have ever imagined. We just have to let Him do what He does best. We have to quit striving, quit trying and let Him be there for us. That is not something natural for those of us raised in the meeting system to believe and to grasp. We thought it was mostly about what we did for Him and it was never enough but we kept hoping it was. But that is not how it works. It works just the opposite.
Ann went on to write:
“God doesn’t want to number your failures or count your accomplishments as much as He wants you to have an encounter with Him. The only ladder over you is Love —and Love came down.”
Tonight I want to accept the gift of rest from God. I want this for all of us. May we sleep well knowing that.