Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Give me relief from my distress. This really stands out to me today. For some reason I feel distressed today. I have committed to stop drinking coffee (again). In the last 12 days or so I have had coffee three times and two of them have been times I have felt stressed and as though I need a release from said stress.. Today is one of those days. I am not sure if I could quantify why it is, but I feel pressure today. I feel pressure for work, I feel pressure for church, I feel pressure for home, I feel pressure for personal life, I feel pressure everywhere. It is in a moment as this, I find myself wanting to be a part of a small group of men with whom I can find confidence and community. Not really an accountability group or mentoring one… just something where I can hang out and we can do life together, as cliche as that sounds/is. It feels as thought the pressure I feel could have some release if I had a community like this to engage in. But this has little to do with the pressure specifically, or how I may find release of it in God.
Why should I feel distress? Am I holding back from giving something to God that he can handle and relieve the distress from me. At this moment, my mind wanders to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It’s almost as if he knew his children would feel pressure, feel the weight of life and feel the need for rest. It’s almost as though he has felt this same pressure, this same need for release, this same heavy burden of life. Therein lies the need for a Savior who was human just like me, a Savior who has experienced exactly what I experience, a Savior who has walked in my shoes.
Honestly, as I have come to understand God and his interaction with me individually through Jesus and the Holy Spirit I have come a greater understanding of the lengths God has gone to in order to have the greatest amount of empathy possible. God took it upon himself to become like me so he could understand the struggles of being me day in and day out. It adds a huge amount of credibility to his claims of being able to offer me the rest and relief from distress I seek knowing he has walked through the same trials as me. For me, this is why i turn to God in times of distress. Because I have experienced him in such a way that I find his claims to be relevant and true. His claims that he can offer what no other ‘god’ can offer to be truthful. In my times of distress I have trusted in every of possible avenue to relieve the distress and none of them worked. None provided the relief I was looking for.
Jesus’ words to find in him rest for a weary soul are refreshing words to me, someone who has looked for rest and found it nowhere else but in him. Today, as I feel distress and pressure and the need for release I will find the rest and relief and release in a God who can offer a lighter burden to me. What about you? Will you allow Jesus to carry your burden?