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

A Good Day

So I rest in this: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). No longer is a good day one in which I wake up well-rested. A good day is one in which I can look back at the end of it and see God’s provision in my lack, his sufficient grace in my moments of weakness, his forgiveness to cover my failures, and more of his joy, laughter, kindness, patience, and love coming out of my mouth than I would have dared to dream when I dragged myself out of bed that morning. Tired, but happy, in Jesus is a good place to be. – Desiring God, The Sovereign Hand of God in Sleeplessness

Sunday Song: He Leadeth Me

One of the most comforting images (for me anyway) in the Bible is Christ as Shepherd.

Psalm 23 — He, our Shepherd, gives his sheep (child) all that they need. He is with them in the valley of the shadow of death. He is forever there dwelling place.

John 10 — He calls his sheep by name. There is relationship: he knows his sheep and his sheep know him. No one is able to snatch away his sheep. He has come that his sheep may have life and have it to the full.

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

2 We are Thine, do Thou befriend us,
Be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray.

He Leadeth Me

1 He leadeth me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Refrain:
He leadeth me, he leadeth me;
by his own hand he leadeth me:
his faithful follower I would be,
for by his hand he leadeth me.

2 Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
sometimes where Eden’s flowers bloom,
by waters calm, o’er troubled sea,
still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. 

3 Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine,
nor ever murmur nor repine;
content, whatever lot I see,
since ’tis my God that leadeth me.

4 And when my task on earth is done,
when, by thy grace, the victory’s won,
e’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
since God through Jordan leadeth me.

By God’s grace, arranged and played by Katie

Pointless, Mundane, and Redeemed

Practical. Transitory. Ordinary.

Mundane life. It is most likely resented because it is not spectacular.

While we encourage each other to stop and appreciate the small things in life, we don’t always mean it. Not really.

We want to be known for doing impressive things — or at least things that are worthy of noticing.  We dread being unseen and ordinary. We dread living a mundane existence.

At the root of our ill-will toward mundane activities and mundane living, however, I believe is the annoyance that it is pointless. We begrudge the repetitive nature of the mundane. At least I tend to.

Washed dishes will become dirty again.  Gas tanks need to be refilled. Lawns are cut, only to regrow. Weeds in flowerbeds are maddening in their reappearance. Endless stacks of documents need stapling, sorting, or filing. Thousands of phone calls need answering. Years come and go, marked by the same paperwork, the same taxes, the same repairs, the same cleaning and re-cleaning, the same organizing and reorganizing, the same frustrations. Even successes in everyday life can turn mundane.

What has been will be again. There is nothing new under the sun. (See Ecclesiastes 2)

Hopeless, right? The mundane nature of life has created a rut that we cannot escape.

So we look for a plot twist. We find out we’re really royalty (it makes a good movie)… or we come into money… or we finally receive that accolade… or we get our breakthrough to fame. With a plot twist like that we could escape the rut created by a mundane life.

But what if the office worker, the teacher, the mother, the father, and the hundreds of other professions were not necessarily meant to escape mundane life? What if the mundane could be redeemed from pointlessness?

Plot twist.

It has.

The sovereign purpose of God has given purpose to the most mundane of lives.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Christ has redeemed the mundane for his followers because all our works are for him.  The fulfillment for our work is in him. The honor, gratitude, and advancement we hope to attain in our earthly work pale in comparison to our inheritance in the Lord.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23-24

God has planned all our works — the mundane, the noteworthy, and the spectacular. All are unto him.  He accepts our work because of Christ. The presence of his Holy Spirit in us reminds us that we do not work for the futility of a passing world, but in his strength and with the hope that our work is not in vain. Therefore…

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

We work, even in the mundane, with the hope of the only accolade that matters: God’s.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'”

Matthew 25:21

We work with hope and courage to do the ordinary because we know that God is at work — even in the mundane.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28