Rest Beyond the River

Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I want to just spend a day at home and do housework, sometimes I want to not follow but lead. Usually when I lead things can get bad so I give in and let Christ lead me. Those days that I want to quit I think about how Christ walked this earth and how many lives he touched. I think he must have gotten tired on a number of days. He gave his tiredness to God and kept working.
When I get tired I don’t work miracles like Christ did, but I do think of the many clients that are living a challenging life, I think of the clients that come and want to hear hopeful words, kind words or just want a prayer. They want and need a friend in their desperation. They want to see a smile and hear “it’s going to be okay and you know God’s got this.”
I had planned on spending the day at home cleaning and doing this and doing that when I got a text message that I was needed one more day that week. It would have been easy to say no, but would Christ have said no? Would he turn his back to people who needed him and were hurting? No. He prayed for strength and asked God to give him the power to move on. 
I am blessed with all those things the clients often come in and seek: housing, food to feed their families, jobs and money to pay bills. Add on medical provision like medicine, blood work and doctor visits, and eye exams and dental visits. I can’t tell you how many come in and have tooth problems and are in pain. I have all those things and more. I can pay to have my hair cut and fixed and now with the prices people have to pay many can’t afford to even have their hair done. So along with everything else self-esteem is often low. I have a family that is stable; we all love one another and we all are kind to one another. Some of these folks have not seen siblings or their children for years. Some have children in jail or in drug rehabs and are raising grandchildren and great grandchildren. They live tired and without much hope of anything changing.
I can go home and get into a comfortable bed and get some rest while many of these go home and when they lay down at night they worry about what tomorrow will bring. Where will the food come from or how will they pay their next bill. 
The book I am reading talks about me dancing with Christ. I can choose to let him lead or I can choose to lead. If I choose to let him lead then I must be willing to go where He leads me. That morning it was back to volunteering one more time that week. 
My first client was the reason why I needed to be there. She came in and before long the hopelessness, the tears and the despair all spilled out. She needed to hear kind words, she needed to know someone cared and she needed prayer. God gave me insight that I could share with her. I just smiled and knew God was in all of this. For whatever reason, I was the one that she needed to speak to. God was in the midst of all of this. At one point I got cold chills because I could see and feel God’s presence among us. 
The rest of the day was full of people needing and wanting to hear words of hope. It turned out to be a busy day full of need not only physically, but spiritually. I prayed with many of my clients that day asking God to make His presence known in their lives. I prayed for jobs to come through, for healing and that He would supply their needs. 
Christ walked among the people helping those that needed help. Christ is an example for us to follow. There will be plenty of time on the weekends to rest, catch up on work and to get things done, in the meantime I will follow His example and help when I can, as often as I can and for as many as I can. I may not make a difference in everyone’s life that comes through our doors, but if I can make a difference in one person’s life then I have done what God has called me to do. 
Mark 6:31 says this, “Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” There are definitely times we need to go off and be by ourselves and rest, but this day was not one of them. God has a way or orchestrating those times for us to rest. He knows our limits and He will lead us into rest. 
I was blessed this day to see God at work in this young lady’s life. I was blessed to be a part of something special; not because of anything I said or did, but because of the words and actions God did through us where she came to get help. We all gathered around her and touched her and prayed with her. She left a different person than when she came in. 
As for me being tired? Well, God took care of that. God gave me the energy I needed for the rest of the day. “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2) There is much work to be done. What is it that God is calling you to do? We grow tired for now, but one day we will be able to rest beyond the river. God will one day call us home and there will be plenty of time to enjoy rest, but for now helping others find joy in Christ is the work we are called to do. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) For me it’s not so much about reaping the harvest as it is planting the seed. Planting seeds of faith and hope, and love is what keeps me going. I will keep going until God directs me to rest. He will provide a time of rest for me. He did for Christ and He will do so for me. 
I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on. When you think you can’t take another step remember the example Christ and His Disciples set. Just as I was needed today God will bring someone your way that needs to know someone cares, someone loves and maybe someone to pray with them. The harvest is plentiful. If we don’t do it then who?
Dear God: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see you in action. Thank you for giving me the words that I needed to help this person. Thank you that resources were available for us to help. Thank you for prayer that was offered, but most of all thank you for the hope, love and the encouragement she received, not because of anything we said or did, but because you were in our midst. Help me as I help others. Help me to make a difference in the lives of those you bring my way. Help me to find times of rest and renewal and when you do give me those times let me be wise enough to enjoy it. Multiply the workers. Lead others to serve you without fear; fear of getting too tired, fear of not being gifted or qualified or fear of praying with others. Let us follow your example of serving others. Amen  

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