By Pastor Kevin Van Wyk
Soon our president will give a State of the Union address. I am sure he will celebrate the good things he has accomplished and boldly speak of what he intends to do in the coming years. Many other presidents will do the same thing for their organization or school. In fact, I’ve done this for the church some years.
As we move into 2019, I’d like to reflect on the state of the soul, particularly your soul. It’s tempting to make some bold statements about the condition of American Christians, the decline of the church, and the political tension we live in. I could blame the democrats or Trump or the Superior Court for all the problems in our country, but that is a fruitless and destructive direction to go.
Instead let’s take John Wesley’s question to open up all his small groups: “How is it with your soul?” John knew how to go deep. He did not ask our common question: “How are you?” to which we expect and often get: “Fine.” I’d like you to reflect quietly for a moment.
How is your soul?
What word comes to mind to describe your heart?
Do any of these resonate with you? Stressed,
Bitter, Anxious, Conflicted, Numb, Weary,
Disturbed, Irritable, Downcast or Depressed.
My guess is that it is not quite where you want it. Maybe it’s severe and you are venturing into escapist behaviors like binge watching TV, drinking during the day, spending beyond your means, viewing pornography, or hiding behaviors. Maybe your soul is not quite so troubled, but you know it’s not at peace. Regardless, we could all use some more peace and joy in our soul.
Jesus speaks this to us… “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28–29 NLT).
Sounds like a great invitation.
“Jesus, I’ll take 2lbs of rest… make that 30lbs. What it’s not for sale? I need to come, take your yoke, and learn???”
When Jesus says, “come,” he infers a humble, repentant following. When he says, “take my yoke,” he refers to God’s mission to the world. And when he says, “let me teach you,” he invites us to be an apprentice. Bottom line: rest comes from a daily walk with Jesus. A relationship where we listen, learn, and love.
If you are looking for a bit more connection with Jesus, I strongly encourage you to join us in “Experiencing God.”
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