Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A New Smile :)

Another round of sadness & melancholy in the morning. But I've been through so many seasons already, I can testify with these lyrics:
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above 
Join with all nature in manifold witness 
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

But been thinking. How much freshness has there been in my walk with God recently? That's one reason I keep a blog - to record and keep track of what I have learnt.

Was telling another brother bluntly last night that he needed to have freshness in his walk with God. But also had this little voice in my heart - whether it was the Holy Spirit or my own conscience, I am not sure - that my own walk needs to be fresher too.

I desperately want to grow in character, especially my tendency to be a people-pleaser and in depth of conviction, and in godliness, not being driven by emotions. But what disciplines can I do to overcome and grow?

And... why do I want to grow in these areas? I already know the answer: so that others will think better of me. That's a trap - desiring character growth so that others will think better of you. But it should not be. It should be to please God first and foremost. Not to feel insecure, worrying about whether I've done something to make the other person mad but to always seek to please the Father & do His will.

Yet I feel alone a lot of times. A thirsty man may drink even dirty water if he had nothing else to slake his thirst. So tempting, this people-pleasing. That I would desire to grow spiritually even just to please mortals first & foremost. Oh, the irony of idolatry!

So thinking in my heart what I can do to get out of this spiritual Catch-22. And strangely, I observe that when I take my eyes off my supposed woes and think about what Jesus would want, I feel a sense of lightening in my heart.

And suddenly, like a flash of lightning, Matthew 11:28-30 comes to me:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Tears of relief. "Rest for your souls." This promise from the dear Lord feels like the tingle of a fresh raindrop amidst the molten heat of the sun. And for the first time in many mornings, I break out into a real smile. :)

I'm so touched that the Lord understands my heart struggle and didn't bring Galatians 1:10 to mind as a lot of people would immediately "diagnose" my situation. Instead He really understood where I was really at, and fed me Matthew 11:28-30 instead. Thank God He really understands - not just so that He can comfort me, but so that He can accurately pinpoint and tend to the actual root issue. Our God is a compassionate and gracious God indeed - a good and tender Shepherd who shepherds His flock with wisdom, strength and majesty.

Micah 5:4He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.

There was a highly successful lawyer who had a wonderful wife, a successful and busy career, lots of money and looked up to by many people. But one morning, his wife found him in bed with a smoking gun in his hand and a bullet hole in his head. And there was a note in his own handwriting that simply said: "I'm so tired of it all."

Dear friends, have you ever felt burdened by trying to meet up to the expectations of people around you? Even the expectations of your parents, your dearest friend, your spouse, your colleagues, your bosses?

The Lord understands. Jesus invites you to come to Him, if you're tired & weary of constantly chase after the approval of people in church or work or family, or live up to the stress of unmeetable expectations, or a very sick loved one that you have to care for day in and day out, or just a bone-aching weariness bordering on ennui. He will give you the inner rest that you so desperately need. For He is the Lord.

When you can't be all that the world wants you to be, come. When you are depressed and lonely, come. When you are weary and burdened, come. Come, come just as you are. Come to the Father. Come and bury yourself in His everlasting arms. Take His yoke upon you and learn from him, for He is gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For, unlike others' yokes, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.


Sent from my iPhone

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