Archive for April 21st, 2007

Baby Steps

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Please read Matthew 11:28-30, out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Tom Chittenden):

Kneeling and with outstretched arms, a Father gently encourages his baby — about to become a toddler — with these words, “Come to me, you can do it, come to Daddy.” I’ve anxiously watched my own sons (now 30 and 21) let go of the object of their security and take those first few wobbly steps into my arms! Truly one of those magical moments for any parent. The fear, insecurity, and doubt that a new toddler feels is soon gone when they consider the plea of Mom or Dad to unconditionally trust, and they are swept up with words of praise and confirmation.

At the most unexpected moments in our lives — moments of fear, failure, vulnerability, doubt, grief, depression — there comes this gentle, encouraging whisper from Jesus, “Come to Me.” Personal contact with Jesus changes everything!

The attitude we must have in coming to Him is one where we have made the determination to let go of everything that has caused the exhaustion, the listlessness, the anxiety and emotional torture that afflicts us. That determination causes us to “let go” — although we’re wobbly at first — and commit all to Him who extends His loving and welcoming arms.

“And I will give you rest.” I think Jesus is saying, “I will sustain you, enable you to stand firm, show you how to walk when the burdens of life (our yoke) seem like too much.” If we consider coming to Jesus as some kind of “get out of jail free” card we will undoubtedly be disappointed!

Instead His invitation, in reality, is a command — a call to discipleship where we must single-mindedly and unresistingly let His yoke rest upon us. Only then can we expect to achieve liberty and enjoy true fellowship in the arms of Jesus. Only then can we find life’s burdens and insecurities manageable by having access to God’s power enabling us to persevere in the right way! “His commands are not burdensome.” (I John 5:3)

He is not necessarily saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep”, but rather He is saying, “I will get you out of bed — out of your listlessness and exhaustion, out of your condition of being half-dead while still alive — and I will penetrate you with the Spirit of Life so you can walk with the vitality and power that only the Son of God can give!”

Thought for the day: Jesus, please help me to be quiet and listen, so I can hear and respond as you invite me to “come . . . and receive your rest.”

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: The Northwest Oasis.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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