By Ruth Ann Replogle, Columnist
Enid News and Eagle
This past week obviously has been a tough and tragic time for Oklahoma. Several communities were devastated by tornadic weather; some lost all their material possessions, some lost loved ones. The people of this great state have rallied to offer support physically and mentally.
I want to offer a little ray of hope spiritually: God is still on His throne (Psalm 103:19). He remains as the calm center of the raging storm. Come and find rest in Him.
In the latter part of Matthew 11, Jesus denounced those who think they know better than God (“wise and learned”) and praised those who really know God (“little children”). He then spoke the words that are the heart of my message today:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28
His first words are “come to me.” Not “wait” or “I’ll come to you.” He wants you (His little children) to enter His presence today, right now, no matter what is going on around you.
I know I’ve said it before, but you can approach our Father boldly in Jesus’ name at any time to receive mercy and grace in your time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). As co-heirs with Christ, we have every right to stand before His throne in confidence and know that our God hears us.
Come as you struggle with whatever it is that is trying to hold you back. Come as you drive to that location that makes you tired or frustrated. Come as you fight the tears from watching devastation rock your existence. Come as you battle to make another day.
Jesus calls to you to come to Him, have a relationship with Him, get connected with Him.
Who can come to Him? “All who are weary and burdened.” Let’s examine those terms more closely.
“Weary” are those trying to make it right with God, trying to do their best for God yet finding those good works aren’t getting them any closer to Him. I can hear the inflection in Christ’s tone: “Stop it! You don’t have to prove anything! I already did.”
“Burdened” are those who’ve given up trying to prove themselves. They have no hope because they’ve yet to find the peace that God gives. They may have found the Savior, but they’ve remained swallowed in their sin, unwilling to shed that sin and allow Christ to fill sin’s place.
The purpose of salvation is to deliver you from yourself!
So, why come to Him? Because “I will give you rest.” He doesn’t say “I might give you rest” or “I could give you rest.” Jesus said He WILL give you rest.
Perhaps your world is in shambles from whatever storm has ripped through your life. Jesus promises to refresh your spirit, to renew your soul. He wants to restore you, bind your wounded heart and heal your broken spirit (Psalm 147:3).
You can rest in His acceptance of you, His forgiveness and grace no matter what you’ve done, His freedom from bondage.
Coming to Christ doesn’t mean you will no longer face tornadoes. Coming to Christ means you acknowledge that He is bigger than whatever you face on this earth. Coming to Christ means you think He is more than sufficient than any earthly possession or person. Coming to Christ means you know His Word is what matters.
Come. Return to Him today. Let Him and His love consume you.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father … I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses all understanding …” — Ephesians 3:14-19
Follow Ruth Ann Replogle on Facebook at http://www.face book.com/pages/Just-Hold-On/419800328081972 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.