and socially acceptable response, ‘I’m fine, just fine,’ I would have to say, I’m tired. As I engage in my summer break, I am looking forward to a time to rest and renew, to lay aside the mantle of leadership and responsibility and to slow down and allow God / His Word to speak into my life.
There are times in all of our lives when we have to ask, what do you do when you’re feeling weary, beat up, weighed down by the cares of life? Where do you turn?
David writes in Psalm 34: I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (4-8)
The psalmist reminds us in Psalm 46 that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (46:1)
There are times when we have to recalibrate our lives, our hearts and minds; to centre our lives in the truth of God’s Word – truths that anchor our souls and renew our resolve to continue on this journey of faith; that bring strength and encouragement, comfort and joy.
All of us, especially those who have walked by faith for a long time, all of us have those portions of God’s Word that speak into our lives. One of those texts for me is Jesus’ words in Matthew 11, Come to me -- what a simple and yet deeply profound and beautiful invitation! 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 in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (28-29)
I wonder is anyone else feeling tired; weary? Is anyone longing for rest? Maybe like me, you need to hear Jesus say to you, ‘come to me’.
Is anyone feeling uncertain, even fearful as you wonder what tomorrow might bring? The psalmist reminds us: The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. (Psalm 56:3-4)
Sometimes we just need to come back to these precious portions of His Word and remind ourselves that when I am afraid / I am weak, He is strong. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense. (Isaiah 12:2)
And, He is abundantly good! The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8) He is abounding in love and He wants us to rest in, to abide in that love.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress. (Psalm 91:1-2)
In Isaiah 40:31 we have the sure promise of God that Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
When I come back to these truths, I am reminded that all of God’s Word, His promises to us can be trust, for they rest in His character, in His sheer goodness and grace and above all His faithfulness. I can find strength in His Word because He is a true to His Word; He is a promise-keeping, covenant–keeping God. And I know we are in a relationship together, a covenant relationship and I know, I know that I am loved by the Father, cherished by Him. And I know that His desire is to break into my life and to lead and direct my life in a way that is consistent with His very best for me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) I have lived in the truth of this promise for 40 years, since God intercepted my life as a 17-year-old kid--I know that He can be trusted.
And, I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12) Until that day, that day He calls me home or comes for me, I can rest confidently in His love, not because of anything I have done, but because of Jesus Christ – my faith and hope is in Christ alone!
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:7)