Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NIV).
Friend to Friend
The dad wrote a note, folded it, and stuffed it in his front pocket, leaving a corner popping out of his collared, striped shirt. The glint in the dad’s eye, along with the edge of the note seemed to beckon his son to grab it.
A message waited for the boy, clear-as-day. Yet, the boy turned his head the other way, both denying dad and discounting his father’s heart to reach him. Why? Because the boy was angry, furious even, at his dad. The last thing he wanted to do was to receive.
So, the note that read, “I love you no matter what, son,” was left unread. It had no impact on the boy. It changed nothing. The son, my son, continued to be angry…
Watching this transpire, I wondered, “How often do I deny what God has for me, because I’m angry? How often do I miss what God wants me to grasp because I’m wrapped up in thoughts and annoyances?”
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
Without using words, I answer back, “No, I’m good. I really don’t think You have good stuff for me, anyway. I’m going my own way.”
You know, we can’t receive rest when we run in the opposite direction of God. We can’t find grace in our time of need, when our arms are crossed, blocking our heart from receiving. We can’t receive love, when we’re sure God must hate us for how we are acting.
I’ve been in my son’s shoes before. I’ve thought, I’m too far gone for God to love me. My emotions are too strong for God to be happy with me. I cannot change my actions on my own and God must be upset with me.Have you ever been there?
Often, returning back to God after traversing a spiritual dryland is humbling. It requires one to say, “Okay God, there are some areas where I need to grow. There are some places You want to prune in me. I am not perfect. Help me.”
Yet, I’ve found, these three things help us as we come close to God again:
- Admitting sin and re-establishing dependency on God, by apologizing.
- Asking for help to receive His love again.
- Accepting the fact that the burden is no longer yours and that it must be handed over.
God’s arms are always wide-open for our great return. He loves us unconditionally. He waits for us unreservedly. He wants us unashamedly. Incredibly, weakness, brought to Jesus, opens up new strength.
We truly are loved by a good Father. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. There is no dark tomb that the resurrection-power of God can’t reach. There is no distance God won’t go to draw back even one, lost sheep.
If you find yourself out of God’s fold today, I believe, this is your call to come back in. Will you receive the precious love note from your Heavenly Father that says, “I love you no matter what?”
Dear Lord, I thank You that I am loved. I thank You that You care for me. I thank You that I am not too far gone. I thank You that You always want me. I thank You that You know me and care for me. I have never known a love so unconditional and so incredible as Yours. I thank You that my imperfections do not disqualify me, nor do my faults rule me out of Your fold. Truly, Your grace is amazing, and Your love is beyond my comprehension. Sometimes, it feels like I don’t do enough. But the point is – Jesus did it all! That’s all my heart needs to know. Help me to grasp this within my body, mind, soul and spirit.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
In what ways have you consciously or subconsciously turned away from God?
How is this holding you back from reading or connecting with His Word?
What might Father God want you to know right now?
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