I read a blog post from a friend of mine the other week. It was all about when “good” Christians do bad things. You can read it here (and I can highly recommend it!). I came away reminded that what makes me a “good” disciple is not my performance or behavior (although I should see this improve consistently over time), but rather the fact that I continue to look to and lean on the One I follow because he has the words and the life that I need so much. Little did I know I would have a terrific real-world example of just this in my own life within a matter of days.
I had a thing happen at work where I ended up being upset with a co-worker. The same thing happened a couple times more, and I started hold a grudge. One night after this happened again, my spirit was so unsettled by it all that I could not fall back to sleep. Lying there, it struck me: I don’t have to hold on to this anger and bitterness. I am choosing to do so, but I can choose something different. Right then and there, I turned my mind and my heart toward Jesus and started talking to him about the whole thing. He gave me what I did not have within myself–the capacity to absorb the wrong I perceived had been done to me and to replace it with love and patience. I was back asleep soon after.
This is a small thing, I suppose. But it was a huge thing to me that night. This is what it looks like to exchange my tired, worn-out life with the unending, undying life of Jesus. As I learn to do so in small things like this, I will eventually mature to the point where I can do the same in big things. Along the way, I can encourage others to do the same and speak from my own experience to testify to the fact that “It works!”
Anything I find myself holding onto that makes me feel lousy, anything to which I turn for comfort that does not provide lasting fulfillment—all of it can be traded in to Jesus and swapped out for his life instead. This is a great promise, a solid truth, and a way of life.
Matthew 11:28 is one of my family’s memory verses. Jesus says to us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I have verified that this is quite literally true!