Today was rough. Work was not fulfilling or satisfying. My walk with the Lord feels strained and forced. My friends, as awesome and blessed as they are, didnt and couldn’t fill the gaping void of struggle today. Today was hard.
At church this weekend they played a song at the end of service during the prayer/altar call time called “O come to the altar”. It’s by Elevation worship. The song lyrics are beautifully written about laying everything you have down at the altar of Jesus, who us the perfect sacrifice for us all. The lyrics begin:
“Are you hurting and broken within, overwhelmed by the weight if your sin, Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself, do you thirst for a drink from the well, Jesus is calling
O come to, the altar, the Fathers arms are open wide, forgiveness, was bought with, the precious blood of Jesus Christ”
I love this song starting off with struggle. This image of being tired, worn and weary. Often times I think being a Christian means only looking your best always and therefore only giving your “best”. There are two things wrong I think with that statement: 1. God saved me at my worst, He’s not impressed with my best, He’s impressed with my trust; 2. Sometimes the best I can bring is not necessarily happiness, sunshine and joy. Sometimes all I have is fatigue, exhaustion, mistakes and regrets. And he wants those too. Those two elements are seen in the Bible in 2 places I see. In Matthew 19: 16-22, we see a rich young ruler who had many things come to Jesus asking for salvation, for the answer to what must he do to be saved. Jesus’s final answer to the man was crazy, vs 21″ Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; come and follow me”. Now this passage has heaps of sermon gold in it in regards to talking about how the ruler did not trust that God offered a better pleasure than his stuff; or that He put more security in his things than in Jesus. All these are true. But what I see in this passage is that Jesus actually just called Himself sufficient. Not only did the rich young ruler not trust Jesus with his pleasure, but He also did not trust Him with his pain. The pain of losing all he has and following the Christ to unknown places. He did not trust that God’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son was sufficient for His pain. I fear I, and we, do the same. We feel as though we are to only come to God skipping and dancing and praising jubilantly. But I believe God does not just delight in us giving Him our joy, He delights in us giving Him our pain. The pain of a long stressful day, the agony of the supposed silence of Him, the depression and oppression of feeling alone no matter how surrounded you are. The consequences of living in a fallen world. Dont believe me? Point number 2, in Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus commands us all to come to Him to find rest. To trade our heavy burden for His light one. He promised if we would do so, we would find rest for our souls. Jesus wants rest for your soul. He is perfectly able and the only capable of providing such rest. Everything else only offers you a nap; Jesus offers us rest, if we would only trust Him with our pain and imperfections. He is sufficient. And His arms are open wide. So come to the altar. Drag, limp, crawl, whatever necessary, get to the altar. There is found the rest for your tired soul.