Sunday, February 23, 2014

Where Are You Trying to Find Rest?

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She went for a long walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in. After a while she went upstairs to find somewhere to rest. The Papa Bear’s bed was too hard. The Mama Bear’s bed was too soft. But Baby Bear’s bed was just right and she fell fast asleep. When the bears returned they found that someone had eaten their porridge, sat in their chairs and Baby Bear found Goldilocks sleeping in his bed. She was startled and ran out of the house, never to return again.
Such a nice little story of a little girl finding sustenance, comfort and rest in the woods when she really didn’t know what to do or where to go.  But even after she had found the three things that every human being needs and desires, she was still not at home.  She wasn’t one of the bears. She was different. Ultimate rest, eternal comfort and genuine sustenance couldn’t really come from the temporary place she had found.

Life is a lot like a trip into the forest. We don’t know for sure where we are going, what we will encounter or when we will get out. But all along the way we try to find tangible things to hang onto.  We are ever searching for the things that will make us comfortable – we want to feel cozy, relaxed and find relief.  We also want to know that all our needs will be met – provisions, nourishment and necessities of life are our desire. And along with the other needs we as humans have, we want to find rest – that place where we can let down our guard and take a breather from life’s surprises and disturbances.

Just as Goldilocks found that she wasn’t really at home in the Bears’ cabin, we too find that, even when we think we have found just what we wanted, it isn’t really home for us.  Unlike Goldilocks, who left the cabin and found her way home, we often run to the next stop and try again to find our source for all we need in people, places and things.  We too are strangers, aliens in a world that isn’t meant for us. We have a home and it’s beyond this world. As we learn more about our purpose in life, we find that we fit here less and less.  God wants to meet our needs and will, but fortunately for us His desire is that we find them all first and foremost in Christ. Everything we need is promised, along with somewhere to call our real home in heaven one day. We are most blessed, but at times it’s hard because the things of this world don’t really work for us.

Oh beloved, have you been upset because temporary things aren’t bringing permanent satisfaction? Don’t let it upset you – for God is your source for everything! God will give you people to love, plans to fulfill and life to live. He just doesn’t intend for you to find ultimate comfort, rest and nourishment in anyone or anything over Him.  He wants to have first place because it is there that you will learn to be like Him. He will hide your soul in the cleft of the Rock. He will give you a place of quiet rest in His heart. He will lead you beside still waters as only He can restore your soul.  When things are hard, He will cover you with His protective love.  When you don’t know which way to go, He will guide you. Don’t trust in your senses for they can lead you away from God’s purpose. Christ came to free you from the burden of sin it is true. But He released you also from having to make your own way. In Christ there is such freedom to live loved. In Christ the chains that bind you to continually wander have been removed. You can rest in God’s promises, live in Christ’s redemption and walk in Holy Spirit power always.

God loves you and He’s for you and that’s why you can trust Him to watch over you, guide you and direct you all the days of your life. And when this life is over you will have a place of ultimate rest as you dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 62:1  My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. (New International Version)

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I Corinthians 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Isaiah 58:11 And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

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