Feb 9 2017
“When is this going to stop?” I asked myself that question several times this last week. Truth is
it’s hard to see the end of something when you’re in the middle of it. Click through to read more.
It wasn’t just the weather that had me asking that question, although the weather was a big factor. I know it’s easy to make fun of us Vancouverites when we complain about the snow, but those of us who have seen winter in other parts of Canada know that Vancouver’s snow is, in fact, more challenging and treacherous than snow elsewhere.
But I also asked the same question (“When is this going to stop?”) probably about the fourth time our power went out over the weekend. And then I asked it again the fifth time. And the sixthtime.
You’ll be happy to know that our household is now very proficient at candle dispersal and lighting. We’re like a well-oiled machine around here.
I’ve also asked that question with respect to physical health over the past week. I don’t know which virus has taken up residence in my body, but it’s a stubborn little fellow, and I can’t seem to shake the fatigue or get my voice back. Good thing I don’t have to talk for a living…
Before this whole post turns into “Mark’s Minute of Complaining,” let me make the turn and bring this to an insightful theological point. It’s really hard to feel a sense of peace and safety when you’re in the middle of adverse circumstances. We’ve come up with a number of trite clichés that we repeat to each other when stuff happens (“It’s always darkest before the dawn!”), but I would argue that those statements, while true, aren’t always the most helpful.
But here’s something that is, and it comes from Jesus: “Come to me, all you who labour and areheavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, ESV).
Jesus doesn’t say, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will make it so you’re not heavy laden anymore.” He doesn’t promise to fix our problems for us. But he does promise, even in the midst of heavy struggle, to allow us to find rest.
Rest helps us to get perspective. Adversity has a way of narrowing our focus so that all we see is the adversity. But rest allows us to stop, to think, to allow our field of vision to open up, and to restore our hope.
Rest helps us realize that, as a matter of fact, it is darkest right before dawn.
Whatever you’re struggling with this week, take time right now to listen to the voice of Jesus calling you to come to him so that he can give you rest. Regain your perspective. Remember who the hero is. And then get back into the revolutionary fight to which the good news of the gospel calls us.
And sometimes it’s hard to find that sense of rest on your own, which is why living in community is so important. The community of God’s people called Parkland Fellowship meets at 10 this Sunday, and we hope to see you there.