"The best laid plans of mice and men oft' but go awry." This small segment of an old Robert Burns poem has worked its way into our list of common phrases, and why not? We all understand this concept that even though we plan and plan and think we have it all figured out, sometimes the unexpected occurs and those plans seem all for naught. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow, what we'll eat or where we'll sleep, that those plans will "go awry." Now, too many people take that to mean that we shouldn't plan at all, trusting that God will do everything for us, and that's not Jesus was saying. What we're told here is to plan, but hold those plans lightly. When your plan goes awry, it's ok. God will protect you because he cares for you. The teaching is against the idea that your plans are what will save you and against an attitude that breaks down when your plans dissolve. That doesn't show faith. We plan knowing that God is in control and his will comes first. Our plans should just be leaves in the current, flowing wherever He guides us. I think, for example, about our new building project. We plan for the good of our congregation, but we also understand that there may very well be a hiccup or two along the way. If and when that happens we don't worry or lose hope, instead we trust in the power of God who guides and supports His Church. I pray that we all can embrace this life of trust and faith and ultimately peace.
These are the inviting and encouraging words spoken by Jesus in Matthew 11:28. He goes on to say "...and I will give you rest." What a great and precious promise for those who decide to accept His invitation.
There are countless ways that we may find ourselves "weary and heavy laden." Simply being aware of all the terrible events that have taken place in this world in the past, as well as current events around the world that worry us today. On a more personal level, we may have health problems that weigh us down on an on-going basis. Perhaps it's the trouble in the lives of loved ones that brings us to the point of weariness. The shame, guilt, and separation from our Father in heaven, we experience as a result of sin is certainly a "burden" we can't bear on our own. As I mentioned, the possibilities are endless.
The good news is, regardless of the source of our weariness or burdens that seem so unbearable at times, Jesus said "Come to me,...and I will give you rest." We must be willing to humble ourselves and come to the only one who has the power to bear our burden and relieve our weariness, and that is Jesus.
Perhaps it's time for us to "Come to Him," by spending some time alone with our Savior, listening to Him by simply reading His teachings and praying to Him. After all, he's always available, but are we? Jesus knew the importance of rest for himself and his disciples during his earthly ministry. Mark 6:31-32 says, "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place." A place to rest, to re-energize, and contemplate the life of a follower of Jesus and the rewards associated with that. Folks, we are promised rest from our burdens, but it requires us coming to the Lord to find it.
Let's strive this coming week to find a quiet place to spend some time with Jesus and experience the "rest" for our souls he promises. If we here at Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.
It's hard to write an article for Sunday of Mother's Day and not make a tribute to the moms around us. So thank you moms for all you do! To the moms of little ones whose earliest memories will be of VBS, Bible classes, and playing in the pews, thank you. To the moms of teens who point their tired and emotionally drained adolescents top the healing power of the Cross, thank you. To the moms who enjoy the adult friendship of their now grown children but continue to care for them like they're small, thank you. To the moms who are now better known as grandma, thank you. To the ladies who act as adopted moms to those in need, thank you. And to my mom who raised me in the Lord and encouraged me to go out and be the best I could be, thank you. I hope you hear it every day between now and the next Mother's Day, but just in case, Moms, know that we love you!
I came across this article from David Shannon about mothers. Hope you enjoy it.
Mothers are our first environment. They surround us with comfort and fill us with nutrition from the moment of our conception. Mothers sacrifice from our beginning. Many have endured morning sickness and swollen feet, not to mention our delivery into the world. Many have sacrificed place of notoriety in the world to quietly serve us in our childhood. Mothers are our first teachers. They teach us of love as they cuddle us as prized possession or awaken to feed us. They teach us our words, our steps, and our daily routines. They teach us to stand on our own the first day of kindergarten, as they cried, and we didn't. They teach us to be responsible as we clean the table and sweep the porch. They teach us manners as we open doors to greet guests or sheepishly remind us with only a look to remove our elbows from the table. They teach us of God from the rocker to higher education. They emulate Him, they speak of Him, they read from His Word. Since they are close to the heart of the child, they have the greatest potential of anyone to hid the Word in a child's heart. Mothers are our first disciplinarians. They set safe and respectful boundaries. They encourage, instruct and motivate. They remind us average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top. They love us enough consistently punish is when we are wrong. They consistently demand the best of us. They use time-out, they yank the short hairs in the back of the neck, they pinch the tender places on arms and legs, the spank, and they make it clear that children who tower above them don't rule the house. They aren't sisters, they are mothers.Their wisdom becomes our rule. Our life will reflect them as long as we live. Mothers are the first ladies in our lives. They are beautiful. No hands are prettier than momma's hands. Those are the hands that held our foreheads when we were sickly with nausea. They were the hands that made our birthday cake or bathrobe with a horse on it. Those hands were the hands magic to skinned knee and comforting during our teenage break-ups. Those hands were strong; yet tender. They were firm, sometimes scary; yet loving. Her eyes are encouraging, accepting, instructive and threatening. How can eyes do so much? Only a mother's can. Her lips are kind, soft, perfect. Her cheeks brush our baby skin with all the love that can be transferred through a touch. We played with her hair as she held us. We patted it when she left the hairdresser. We played in her closets among beautiful clothes and shoes. Mothers are our first compass. Which way will a child go? How will they speak or interact with family, strangers, and those in authority? Pretty much however mother goes, that's their direction. Mothers point them toward God, toward love, toward compassion. Mothers cast their eyes on dreams, opportunities and expectations. Mothers helps sons know what kind of wives they want and daughters what kind of woman they long to become. There is no place like knowing you are in the heart of a godly mother. In this sense they are still our environment. Happy Mother's Day!
If we here at the Centerville Church of Christ can be of any spiritual assistance to you, please let us know.