Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Christmas... where can I go to rest?!

Title of picture: "Come To Me"

Peace... that seems to be what everyone wishes for. You even see the sentiment expressed on Christmas cards this time of year. "Peace on earth, good will toward men." We are all looking for peace in a world where we can find very little of it.
Now close your eyes and picture the Christmas holiday time in America, or in your home. Do you think of peace? Are you thinking, I can't wait for Christmas this year because it is so peaceful? I know, it's just a dream right?
Well what if it doesn't have to be?
Recently I was sick and so I was forced to stay home. At least for this brief time, I wasn't running to and fro like a chicken with his head cut off! You know what I discovered (other than the fact I hate being sick)? I discovered "peace".
I discovered that I don't have to do all of the things that I think I have to do during the holidays! That's right, it was slower and it was sooooo nice.
I went online and downloaded some free Christmas books. I sat by the fire and read them. I read through the Bible looking for prophetical Scripture about Jesus birth. I made do with what I had without running to the store every five minutes. I became more relaxed, at peace. I was forced to rest.
In looking through the scriptures I found this verse yesterday, " Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls..."
I was meditating on what the meaning of this is. The Lord Himself was telling Judah to Stop, and think, as if they were at a crossroads. These paths crossed, or converged. Stop, and see, and then ask. Ask someone wiser which is the best path. There is a path that you can choose that is "the good way". It is a path that is ancient. God prepared it from long ago. He tells you if you choose this path, you will find rest for your souls.
Rest, peace, isn't that what everyone wants? This peace is an eternal rest. When you find it you will have a peace that passes all understanding.
What is this ancient path? This path leads to Jesus. The other leads to chaos and death.
Augustine said, " Our souls can find no rest until they rest in Thee."
Jesus said, " Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden 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." Matthew 11:28-29 My Bible has these words capitalized because Jesus is quoting Scripture and many believe He is quoting this text in Jeremiah.
Many people are uneasy because they are not at peace with God. They know and sense that something is wrong inside, but they don't know what the cause is. So what do they do, especially this time of year? They run for the "stuff"! They think maybe if I buy this new gadget, or the new wide-screened T.V. or anything you can imagine, fill in the blank, I will find peace. Then when they have it, they find out it didn't bring them any peace or happiness.
What is the answer? We find peace in Jesus. Jesus said, "Come to Me... and He would be the giver of rest. He would give you peace.
Go to the manger, take time out of your busy, hectic schedule and just draw near to the Lord. Spend time with Him in quiet reflection of what He did when He came to earth to be born as a little baby. He didn't come empty handed, He came bearing gifts. The greatest gift was salvation and the other was peace. Peace... why would anyone not want that?
Ahhh... peace and rest, now doesn't that sound wonderful?

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