“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
There is a sparrow hidden in the leaves of the crabapple tree by my front door.
I heard his song, his repeated single-note cry, alone in autumn morning.
Of course the air is chilled by the season’s change, the colors of the garden — and the world itself — intense against the impending sleep of winter. The sky vibrates in azure, the leaves rustle darker, the red, tiny apples bob pure and striking as the red feather on a blackbird’s wing.
That sparrow’s lonely song is different than the frenzied chatter of the gathering migrating birds. His is persistent and clear and his perch, now leafy, will soon be bare and exposed to all winter has to offer.
And I realize again how much like a sparrow I am.
This day, this week, began whirling from the moment Monday began. I resist busyness with all my might; I’m not energized by a full schedule or people to meet. I prefer to perch alone against the sky, sparrow-like. And this day, this week, is already shaping up to be “too much”.
In the morning routine, my mind raced aflutter in a schizophrenic habit between the to-do list and the prayers and the demands of the moment. Bread for sandwiches…Lord, help this friend….appointment at 9:40, what can I fit into that hour in between?….where are the keys…Lord, I need wisdom in this area….cracked eggs sizzle in the pan, Lord, thank you for food, readily in my fridge, protect my children today.
I wondered who I could call on to pray for me. I know the week ahead will be full and in addition,I know there will be unexpected changes to plans and challenges to face. Last week it was a radiator for one car, a new set of tires for another, an out of town friend to share a meal with. And my task oriented self looks ahead and wonders, what work is coming my way? Will there be enough of me?
Then I felt the little nudge I sometimes get. I know by now, it’s God’s spirit. Quietly he slipped in amidst the flurry of thoughts like autumn leaves.
Remember when you were lonely? Remember that season when there was just you and me? You learned to hear my voice, to follow my lead? You don’t need someone to pray for you. You just need to turn to me yourself.
Come to me all you who are weary. Come to me and I’ll provide rest for your souls.
We don’t need a vacation or a break or a new relationship or a great purse or a new car. We simply, always, only need Jesus.
We don’t need a reprieve as much as we need the perch for our souls to dwell upon. There we can set and sing our single note cry to our Savior, gentle shepherd, Jesus, lord. He is the only true soul-lover and place of rest.
My myriad thoughts scatter and I’m left with blue sky and birdsong and a moment so full of breath I fill lungs and just be: in the arms of the savior, in the chill of autumn air and the glorious morning sun.
Do you feel overwhelmed, stretched far too thin, alone and weak? If its not the finances, or the car, or the relationship or the bad news, it’s something else. I thought of the millions of cries out to heaven that occur in every moment and the God Who Is never runs out of energy, or strength, or love. He is able. Don’t resist falling into his strong embrace of grace.
In this brief invitation we can find eternal and tremendous hope:
Come to me – the invitation is given and the destination is Jesus Christ
All – the invitation is for everyone. There is no secret list that you may or may not qualify to be written upon. The invitation to Christ is for all of us. And you, too.
Who are weary and burdened — who of us isn’t? We may quantify and debate over what weariness is or how burdened someone may be more than another, but God knows we are all burdened with the weight sin. He alone exchanges our sin and guilt for forgiveness and freedom through the great exchange that occurred on the cross at Calvary. He knows you are world-weary and worn down. He knows the weight we bear of striving to be good enough. What he offers is this: drop your burdens and follow me. Why should we? The answer:
I will give you rest — and in verse 29, Jesus defines it further: rest for your souls. Ah, that is the cry of every man, woman and child. It is our destiny in Christ – the freedom to stop striving, to find grace for ourselves and our neighbor, to act and work and serve not out of obligation or reward, but because love came in and released us from the burden of doing things the world’s way — we can face life’s challenges with love in Christ because our souls are at rest and our lives have direction and purpose in him.
What about you? Are you weary? Will you trust him today and find rest for your soul?
linked with Laura and L.L.