Have you ever walked through the mall and unintentionally glimpsed your reflection in a mirror…like in a department store where there are gobs of mirrors everywhere…and you did not even recognize yourself?
This happened to me and I thought, “That lady is wearing the same outfit as me. Wait. That is me. Holy Cannoli Batman!! What in the…? Who in the…?”
Life apparently happened and the younger, thinner, more refreshed me went packin’!!
I told myself, “Ok that’s it, I’m not going to miss one workout class this week…no matter what!”
But invariably the week commences…
“Mom, I’m not feeling good. Can you come pick me up?”
“Hello, this is Morningside Assisted Living, your Father-in-law hurt his foot. You may need to take him to the hospital.”
Calendar reminder alert: meeting with accountant tomorrow. “Shoot! I forgot about that. No work out class tomorrow either.”
A Transforming Walk
Later that night, I ended up taking a walk with my dog, Ol’ Red. It was definitely better than no exercise at all…but not quite the same as “body pump class” at the gym. I started to remember younger days before it was so difficult to manage life.
As Red and I huffed and puffed up a hill, I realized that I was starting to feel sorry for myself…and I cannot stand when I get into that mode. Yuck.
“Lord, please help me to enjoy this season that I’m in…I don’t want to believe that getting older totally stinks. The gravity of it all is weighing me down, internally and externally.”
Then inspiration hit me: memories of my Dad cracking jokes, breaking into funny songs or teasing the heck out of one of us! In the last few years of his life, he developed quite a knack at being lighthearted and joyful during the stresses of life. He would laugh and joke and sing…instead of feeling sorry for himself, which he could have easily done. He was on dialysis for years while he waited for a kidney transplant. Dialysis ain’t for sissies, y’all. It’s brutal…it’s time consuming, it’s confining, and he did it for years. All of his nurses talked about how he would make everyone laugh and would bring treats to share. Amazing.
The Lord impressed on my heart the scriptures of Matthew 11, “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.”
Rest for my weary soul.
You see, I can be as busy as a bee all day long without ever talking to Jesus, reading His Word or acknowledging His presence. But after awhile I cannot ignore that I feel like crap! I’m weary and burdened…and if only this…and if only that…and I’m desperate for His rest.
Ahhh…but then there’s my rescuer, Jesus! He embraces me with open arms even though I don’t deserve it! He says, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b
Jesus is offering soul rest and abundant life in Him right now–in this season of taking care of my young and elderly family. Right now–with my extra weight, yesterday’s makeup and stress headache.
Right now, wherever we are.
If my Dad could sing and laugh through everything he endured, I can too. I can find my strength and joy in Jesus, just like he did…and so can you.
I consciously gave Jesus my weary and burdened soul, right there on the street walking with Red, and He filled me up with His love. He gave me rest because He is gentle and humble in heart. Oh How I love Him! He reminded me of my value to Him. He poured truth back into my heart, and my hope, peace and joy were restored…right there…just as I was.
Ol’ Red and I journeyed on and I began to sing an old song I used to sing:
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!
Thank You, Lord!
No matter what season we’re in, we can stand on God’s promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Getting older is a blessing!! Every day we are given is another day to know Jesus more. The more we know him, the more we have to offer this world and the people we love! Certainly on our own it is all too heavy, but He is beckoning you and me to place the burdens on Him. In return, He gives us His grace. With that grace we can choose joy. And the joy of the Lord is our strength.
We have a wonderful future ahead! Keep seeking Him, praying, believing, and letting Him fill you up with His love and grace.
If you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him and He will give you rest for your soul.