"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
God just gets in my business big time sometimes. If I have the sense to listen, I am promised the ability to find healing, but usually my first reaction is to rebel by ignoring His promptings. I have a confession to make to you all: I am worn out, exhausted, and close to fainting. This summer has been busier than any other time in my life. I feel as though there are so many gaps caused by neglect and my inability to split myself into all the pieces I need to accomplish everything. I have been running on fumes and am about to crash.
In my busyness, I have neglected the one thing I most desperately need--quality time with the Lord in His Word. Oh, I have been in His Word to be able to teach something, but I have pushed down the need to be quiet with Him and find the rest He is willing to give me. I have allowed what is urgent to replace what is necessary.
I woke up today feeling completely empty, dry, and listless in my spirit. I have heard His voice calling to me every day. The Lord has been faithful to remind me that His mercies are new to me every morning, but I have rarely taken Him up on that truth the last several months. I have whizzed through my time with Him, not allowing the Word to minister to me. I don't have time, you see! I have so many other important things to do! I had this horrible parched sensation that even the busyness could not disguise this morning. I looked up passages on Biblegateway.com that included the word weary. The website gave me several passages that spoke to me, but I always look for that one that socks me right between the eyes. This is the one that did that for me:
Who is the Lord trying to teach?To whom is he explaining a message?
Those just weaned from milk!
Those just taken from their mother’s breast! Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,
senseless babbling,a syllable here, a syllable there.
For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue
he will speak to these people.
In the past he said to them,
“This is where security can be found.
Provide security for the one who is exhausted!
This is where rest can be found.”
But they refused to listen.
So the Lord’s word to them will sound like
meaningless gibberish,senseless babbling,
a syllable here, a syllable there.
As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk,
and be injured, ensnared, and captured.
Isaiah 28:9-13 NET Bible
When I allow the idol of my busyness to overtake my life, when I am more interested in performing my daily Christian duty to read my Bible than really communing with the Lord, when I refuse to do what needs to be done for me to find true rest, the Word can become just words on a page. It can sound like meaningless gibberish. And my soul, which is starving for the truth, becomes exhausted and weary--even in well-doing. All my acts of worship become just that--acts instead of worship. Jesus, forgive me!
It's only when I land on my backside trying to walk a path which I cannot navigate because of the darkness of my fallibility that I realize how injured, ensnared, and captured I have become. I have become blind to the one thing I need most of all--my profound, never-ending, all-consuming need to rest on the Rock of my salvation.
It's time to get busy--busy resting. It's not my job to have everything figured out or to fret about all that is yet left undone. That is His job--why can't I get that through my head? My job is to trust Him like a newborn baby so that my soul is quieted in the midst of the chaos of life and its demands. It's time to tune my ears to listen to my Jesus again. It's time to confess my deadness, my apathy, my frustration, and start taking Him up on those mercies that are new to me every morning. Great is His faithfulness to me. And though I walk in the darkness, the Lord will be my light because my darkness is not darkness to Him at all.
Jesus, how awesome that You are so patient with me. Thank You that You never condemn me or say, "I told you so," in a way that makes me want to run away from You. You--just You--You are all I need today. Say to my soul again today, "I am Your salvation!" Don't let that be gibberish to me, but the living, breathing Word that refreshes this parched and apathetic shell I have become.