I must say it has been a good start of this journey, these past few months, of learning to abide in Christ. Am I consistently abiding in Christ now? Not yet, but better than I was before this journey began. More than anything, I am more aware when I’m wrapped up in the busyness and stresses of life. I’m more aware when I am drifting away from my Savior. Unfortunately that still happens far too often. I am more passionate about meeting Him intimately in His Word. I am more sensitive to the Holy Spirit in my life. So, it’s a process. A good one, I might add.
Something continues to be a quite a challenge for me. Often, when I head off to bed after a really great day, where God showed up in amazing ways, or a really tough day where it was quite the grind, truly resting in Christ is tough. Yesterday, I saw God show up at a very important meeting. There is so much I could write about that meeting. (I probably will.) After the meeting, I was so excited about the possibilities as a result of that meeting. I love possibilities! Thoughts and ideas flooded my mind. Good thoughts. Good ideas. I would even dare say, God thoughts and ideas. And therein lies the challenge for me. It’s hard for me to turn all that stuff off and go to sleep. After tossing and turning for awhile, I fell asleep only to wake up about 3 hours later. One reason is the natural consequence of being an older male. But that’s a tale for another day. I got up and immediately began to think of the possibilities following that meeting! I looked at the clock and tried to go back to sleep. But after lying in bed for almost an hour, I gave up and got up.
My question is how do you turn off the thoughts and ideas after a great day? Or how do you turn off all the worst case scenarios, the “what ifs” and those “shoulda, woulda, couldas” after a tough day? It’s something that I can’t seem to do thus far in my life. I still need to learn and grow in that key area of giving everything to the Lord at the end of the day. I feel is a huge learning point for me. I think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus’ words to me are simple: “Come to me.” When I am weary and burdened by the day or when all those thoughts and ideas fill my mind, Jesus calls to me, “Mark, come to Me.” And if I open my ears to hear Jesus, He promises to give me rest. He replaces the heaviness I feel on me and replaces with an easy and light one. Then Jesus says something remarkable to me. Jesus asks, “Let me teach you.” Imagine that, Jesus, the Son of God, asking to teach me. Not, “Come here you knucklehead, you still haven’t learned!” King Jesus says, “I’ll teach you how to rest. Just come to me and ask. You can trust Me, I’ll be patient and gentle with you. And you will find the rest you are looking for.” That is amazing!
So here is what I realize: It’s not for me to figure it out. It’s not for me to learn how to rest. What is up to me? Going to Jesus and allowing Him to teach me. It’s funny how you think you know things but then you realize that you really don’t anything at all. I’ve read and declared and even taught those words of Jesus. But now it’s time to truly go to Jesus and learn from Him. “Jesus, I come asking with a single word prayer, HELP!”