Tag Archives: Come to me all of you who are tired and I will give you rest

Invited to the celebration


Having enjoyed a relaxing picnic on the deck, we find such simple joy in listening to the birds pronounce their greetings on the day. What a privilege it is to be invited into the celebration of God’s goodness among his creation at Thayerapy Gardens, or any place you can get away from the daily grind. The simple joy of being quiet in this too busy world easily evades us. So many other demands beckon us to “get something done.” What if what needs getting done is the restoring of your noisy soul? Such joy and contentment comes only by intentional invitation, only by sacrificing some lesser thing on the altar of living in order to enjoy another more fully.

Would you think it strange to experience such beauty and peace in the battle cries of cancer? Or any other great burden that presses against your own life? It needn’t be strange. But it seldom comes by accident. Whether it is 60 seconds of relaxation breathing at your desk, a five-minute walk outside, a mini adventure of a back roads day trip, or an all out getaway vacation, the decision to introduce peace and quiet into an otherwise noisy day is yours – and mine – for the choosing.

It comes at the cost of so little and offers to you the treasures of the world to be still and wonder at the goodness of the life God has given you – this life, the new beginning this day offers, this moment, this very breath that satisfies your lungs and speaks such peace to your mind.

I wonder when we think ourselves too busy to rest, that we put ourselves in danger of being too busy to live. In my masters studies I discovered the difference between “wreckreation” and recreation. The former is the often exhausting outpouring of energies into pursuits that leave us wanting a real vacation when we’re done. Recreation, as God designed it, offers the opportunity to re-create, rebuild, restore, and recharge ourselves. It turns our inner focus to an outward view that expands our perspective. Maybe you’ve discovered this when you decided to “walk away” from a problem only to find the solution that evaded you now readily revealed.

It’s in such quietness of the mind that God invites us to draw near to him, to sit awhile on his deck and share in the goodness that he freely offers you. Jesus himself invites us: “Come to me all of you who are burdened and I will give you rest.”

There’s so much to do and to be accomplished in this short life. Perhaps one of the most important is to accept the invitation to the celebration of God’s goodness in you, and around you in others.



Stop holding on and just be held


One of the misunderstandings of the Christian life is that we are always strong. We say, “In Christ I can do all things” as if it means we can jump tall buildings and stop speeding locomotives at our whim. Really, it speaks about learning the secret of being content and practicing the discipline of endurance. The heart of its message is depending on and being fully satisfied with God. When we are weak we need to hold on to God because he is our only real strength, the one who is faithful to us through all circumstances, however unbearable they seem.


But the premise is that we have enough strength to even hold on. If we could always hold on until things got better, would we need a great God to help us? In fact, many of you know by experience, there are times when you have no strength even to hold on. Life beats you up to the point you feel like you’re at the end of your rope and you are so weak, you can’t even hold on to the rope. You feel your faith is not enough and you want to give up, and let go. I’ve been there myself many times.


The good news is it’s not up to us to cling to God in our own strength. In fact, his strength is made perfect in our weakness. It’s his Spirit who empowers us (Acts 1:8) when we cooperate with him. It’s not all up to your effort. Instead of always holding on, there are sometimes you just need to let go and be held in his arms. Jesus says, “Come to me all of you who are tired and I will give you rest.”


Sometimes we’re called to be strong. But when you aren’t, stop holding on and just be held by your mighty and ever loving Father – the one who knows you, who sees you where you are, and longs to draw you close to him.  Let go and let yourself be held in his loving arms. Let him show you “your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place,” as you let him hold onto you.


Reflect on the lyrics of “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns:

Hold it all together, everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere and barely leaves you holding on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held
Just be held

If your eyes are on the storm you’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross you’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held
Just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held (stop holding on)
Just be held
Just be held



Awake or asleep?



We never know exactly when we fall asleep at night. At some point we close our eyes to the world. Our heart rate slows down and our body temperature decreases. Reality fades away as we enter a world of dreams. In a deep sleep we may even get out of bed and not be aware of our activities.


Falling asleep spiritually follows a similar pattern. We become tired of living with purpose and close our eyes to our true calling. Apathy sets in and compromising situations start to take on more appeal. We think to ourselves, “It can’t be bad if it makes me so happy.” If we don’t wake up to our senses we will find our spiritual temperature lowering. What used to be a burning passion for God’s ways cools to a lukewarm condition. And this dangerous coolness allows us to slip into a deeper trance-like sleep where reality blurs into a foggy road where we easily lose our way. Like Samson of old, we allow the Delilah’s of our age to lull us to sleep.  From an outsider’s perspective we may look the same, but inside we find ourselves drifting further and further from our purposed path.


The good news is that just as living in compromise makes us drowsy to God’s calling, so does His Spirit consistently urge us to wake up. There are numerous practical ways to stay spiritually ‘awake.’

  • Examine yourself as David did. “Search me O God. Know my heart.”
  • Be accountable to someone in whom you can trust to be honest about your struggles.
  • Stay grounded in God’s Word. Beyond rote memorization, earnestly seek to apply wisdom practically to your life.
  • Rest! Really rest. An effective method of not falling asleep at inappropriate times is to rest when you need to. Jesus is calling you: “Come to me all of you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)  Cease striving. Be still. Know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) Remain intently in Jesus. Your accomplishments mean nothing without Him.  (John 15:4)


“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41



Footprints In the Sand

The famous poem and painting Footprints In The Sand has become an inspiration for millions around the world. These days, like the rest of God’s Word it has been a practical truth in our lives. Even though I grow a bit stronger each week there are still many very weak days when all I can do is to surrender everything once again to my Lord. It is then, in my weakness that He reveals his strength and He carries me through the journey I cannot bear to walk alone. In fact, He carries Marcia and I together in His arms. Her arm and shoulder have hurt terribly for a few weeks and she is still pursuing some medical intervention that will help. In the meantime, we walk can we can walk. We allow our loving Jesus to carry us when we cannot.

He makes the same offer to you in your troubles. You needn’t carry them alone. Trust on the one whose burden is light, who welcomes you with “Come to me all you who are tired and I will give you rest.”