Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s anchor of hope message. The writer or author of these messages reflects on something that they have experienced and ties to God‘s word, hoping to be a message of hope or inspiration to those who listen. This message is probably just as much for me as it is for any of you. Something that I have learned in the past, but maybe have forgotten I need to go back to you.

As i was praying and looking for guidance on what this message should be about, it came it came clear to me one morning as I woke up, this scripture verse was the first thing that popped in my mind. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” This is found in proverbs 3:6. As I was reflecting on this and wondering what does this mean? Why this is relevant? if became came clear that I have been going on my own far too much. Let me explain.

Have you ever been tired? I mean, like, really tired. I’m not taking about that physical fatigued where a good sleep will take care of it. That tired where you just feel weighed down, to many things to do and feels like you cannot get everything done. That never ending list of “things” you need to do doesn’t seem to be shrinking and you feel slightly defeated. You complete something, but something new is added to your list. You stop and try to find joy or rest in the usual, but don’t ever feel refreshed?

I’ve been that way many times, I have a tendency to commit to too many things. between volunteering, committing to sports, family life, work. Or maybe sometimes you have a decision to make and it weighs heavy on you.

We all have our basic ways of seeking rest. It can include sleep, reading, walking, a hot cup of coffee, some personal time on your electronic device. But these don’t feel enough so we seek something more, a retreat. A vacation, time off work. But this doesn’t seem to resolve this longing for peace, for rest.

I’ve come to learn that when I feel this way, often my spiritual life is out of balance. In Mathew 11:28, Jesus is praying to God and states this message about those who know Jesus. He prays saying, “Come to me all who are weary and burden, and I will give you rest.” Now this is not a new idea that Jesus is telling his disciples. All through the Old Testament, God painted the picture of sabbath, or rest. He rested on the 7th day, called it holy. He asked the Israelites to rest on the 7th day as well. A whole day committed to not working, being able to spend time with God. While the Israelites were wandering in the desert, God tells them that “my presence will go with you and give you rest.” Throughout the Old Testament, it became synonyms that rest came with Gods presence.

Now we may think that we don’t need this rest, we don’t need God. We can do it on our own. I challenge you to look at your life, whether you believe in God or not. Are you never satisfied, are you longing for something but can never find it? Maybe you find rest in something only to find that eventually that does not give you the same satisfaction, so you move onto something else? My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you angry? Are you restless? Are you annoyed at others? I say these as they are things that become evident in my life when I am not walking close with God. Times when I have not spent time in the Bible, in prayer, or missed to much church.

So, what do we do? How do we fix this? How can we find this peace, this rest? How can we enter God’s presence?

“In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight, be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn from evil. It will be healing to your flesh, and refreshment to your bones”. Proverbs 3:6-8. Our first step is acknowledging that we cannot do it, but God can. God provided his son Jesus as the atoning sacrifice, so we can have this relationship with God. That we can enter His presence. Sorry to say, if you don’t accept Jesus, you cannot find this peace. For those who have accepted, we must continually go to him. Daily. And this is something that I often miss but know better. Be reset daily. Spend time with God, in prayer not as a wish list, but talking with God as you and I would talk. Share your day, share your concerns, give thanks. Spend time in the Bible, not as another to do item, but as a way to hear God speak back to you. Jesus continues in Mathew 11, “come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God doesn’t want to judge us; he doesn’t want sacrifices or rules we have to follow. He wants you; He wants me. He wants a relationship. He does have standards and desires obedience to those standards, but also understands we will make mistakes. That is the reason for Jesus. He is the answer for our mistakes, so we can come to God, and have life.

Now God doesn’t take away our busyness, nor our to do lists, our over commitments. But when we are right with God, entering that rest and starting from a place of peace, those things don’t have the same weight, or pressure in our lives. As we allow God into every moment of our lives, we can be patient with others, patient with ourselves, and enjoy what god places us in.

God bless, I hope you enjoyed this message and are in His rest.

-Ron Roach