Rest for the Weary

The fountain wasn’t running that day. It didn’t even have water in it. Still people kept coming to the fountain. Some came alone; some came with a friend; some came as a family. They studied something written on the side of the fountain, as if soaking the words into their very bones.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

I watched them for a bit from my brother’s 3rd floor hospital room. I wondered how many of them were reading this as their first Bible verse and how many were reading precious words that were already imprinted on their hearts and minds. The people coming to the fountain were weary in body and spirit and, maybe, burdened in their soul, needing salvation — as we all do — not just from the soul-weariness of walking through the valley of Shadow, but salvation from their own soul-sickness of sin.

“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 of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus’ invitation recorded in Matthew is said in the context of him telling us his ability to reveal the Father and the way to Him, meaning salvation from God’s judgement and forgiveness of sin.

He called his hearers to himself. He is calling the people at the fountain to himself. He is calling me to himself. He calls us to a relationship abiding in his love and forgiveness, where we can find rest for our souls. He doesn’t call us in the hope that we will do enough, but in hope of himself, who is God, who lived perfectly, died in our place, and rose to life again, securing forgiveness for all who repent and believe — works we could never do.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

If Jesus can give us eternal rest for our souls, then he can give us the rest we need for day-to-day…

Are you weary of life? Christ will give you a new life and teach you to rejoice in Him always! Are you disappointed? Has the world given you a slap in the face where you looked for a kiss? Come to my Lord! He will give new hopes that shall never be disappointed, for he that believes in Him shall never be ashamed, world without end! Are you vexed with everybody and most all with yourself? Jesus can teach you to love and put you at your ease again. Does someone fret and tease you from day to day? Come to my Master and the vexations of the world shall gall you no longer. You shall reckon these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to you! — Charles H. Spurgeon, Rest for the Laboring, Oct. 22, 1876

Christ takes our burdens of sin, unbelief, vexation, unforgiveness, and disappointed hopes to give us His burden of faith, forgiveness, love, and lasting hope. Whatever temptations or difficulties come, His burden is light.

The LORD replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:!4

Rest for our hearts, our minds, our cares and worries, our doubts and fears, for our spirits and bodies, so that the same self-admonition awakens our hearts at hope of His provision in the morning and reflection of His provision in the evening:

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

Teaching: this present sphere

It’s that time of year — school has begun again.  Teaching, like most jobs, comes with many changing aspects that keep teachers hustling to keep up (Common Core, changes in classes, changes in administration, changes in duties…) and other aspects that never seem to change, though we wish they would.  Caught between wondering where the first three years of teaching went and how many years are left in my future, I came across this gem from C.H. Spurgeon (who else?).

Take care, dear reader, that you do not forsake the path of duty by leaving your occupation, and take care you do not dishonour your profession while in it.  Think little of yourselves, but do not think too little of your callings.  Every lawful trade ay be sanctified by the gospel to noblest ends.  Turn to the Bible, and you will find the most menial forms of labour connected either with the most daring deeds of faith, or with persons whose lives have been illustrious for holiness.  Therefore be not discontented with your calling.  Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that He calls you to something else.  Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are.  Fill your present sphere to His praise, and if He needs you in another He will show it you.  This evening lay aside vexatious ambition, and embrace peaceful content. 

Morning and Evening, June 27

Spurgeon on Prayer

The man who has his mouth full of arguments in prayer will soon have his mouth full of benedictions in answer to prayer.

Dear friend, do you have your mouth full right now?  What of?  Full of complaining?  Pray to the Lord to rinse that black stuff out of your mouth, for it will little help you, and it will be bitter in your bowels one of these days.

Oh, have your mouth full of prayer, full of it, full of arguments, so that there is room for nothing else.

— Prayer and Spiritual Warfare