bleak, black billows of discouragement
toss over me like wily waves
and i feel jostled and unjustified.
reality of my fallen state
heaps like bitter salt
on a throbbing wound-
tormented, tattered, torn.
coursing through this madness
blind to the next blow.
these tempest waters seduce me to their funnel-
yet, still, Your light punctuates my tunnel.
Ok, maybe this poem seems slightly morbid for the day after Christmas, but while reading in Hebrews this morning I was reminded of when I wrote this.
Hebrews 4 touches on God’s promise of rest. In 4:10 it says, “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
Throughout the entire Holiday season we seem to strive for exhaustion. We shop our way into debt and eat ourselves into a coma. Now that it’s the day after Christmas, I read this and was reminded that God took a day to cease His work and relax.
Not only is this speaking on a physical respite, but I also think it goes deeper. What about the emotional and spiritual fatigue we can find ourselves defeated by?
This idea of taking a breather all seems well and good, but to quit running ourselves ragged across the board we should be reminded of this truth:
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefor come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
He understands. We put so much pressure on ourselves and set these expectations that are nearly impossible to reach, and so we burnout in every aspect of our lives.
Yet here lies the light that punctuates every tunnel; that grace and mercy can be obtained to experience true rest.
I’m not advocating that you stop striving for excellence or that you lower the bar, but take a time-out once in a while and reflect on the fact that when you do miss the mark, you’re not alone. Christ was also stretched, tempted, and exhausted; and we are constantly surrounded by others who also, at times, feel buried in defeats.
So, after you make those returns and pack away the ornaments, breathe. Take the mercy that’s freely offered, release yourself from all that pressure you’re under, and rest.
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