I think the biggest lie I ever told myself is that I would give myself to God once I fixed everything that was wrong in my life.
It made sense to me at the time because many, if not most of the Christian people I had known really seemed to have their stuff together, and I was nowhere near that. I had a friend that went to this enormous church in El Cajon, and the people I saw there all seemed to have these nice clothes, and nice cars, and two-thousand dollar smiles. They had all the confidence and surety about God that I desperately wanted, but had no idea how to get. I had nothing figured out, but how to jack up my life even worse.
So I somehow developed the thought that I had to fashion myself and my life after them if I was going to have any chance with God.
That made even more sense.
I was overweight, unhappy, desperately single, and had a hole down the center of me that it seemed like nothing would ever fill, and I tried plenty of things: food, codependency, alcohol, complacency, and casual relationships with several women that meant close to nothing to me.
Oh, I had heard the gospel many times. I knew about God’s promises, and I knew what it would take to redeem them, and to redeem myself.
But I wasn’t ready.
There was no way God would ever accept me the way I was. I didn’t have the perfect life of the people I saw at church. I had sinned–and continued to sin–daily, and without hesitation. I read later about Paul referring to himself as the worst of sinners, and that was how I felt, mostly without knowing exactly how to describe it.
I would have to clean up my act, and my life, and even my body, before I could begin to think about redemption for any part of my worthless self.
But there was one problem with that: it doesn’t say anything even remotely like that in the bible, and I knew that somewhere inside. I felt the truth of it even before Jesus was real to me.
Matthew 11: 28-30 says “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.”
Nowhere in that passage does it say a person has to have all their ducks in a row before they can find rest.
And maybe you feel the same way I did before I met Jesus, before hope entered my life for what felt like the first time in what had been a fairly desperate existence prior to that evening on the Colorado river.
Maybe you feel like you’re covered and steeped in sin that you just can’t seem to shake.
Maybe you’ve heard so many people tell you so many things about who you are you’ve given up on figuring out the truth of things.
Maybe you’ve begun to believe those lies you’ve heard about yourself and about God, and that if you approach him as you are–desperate and covered with the grime of life–that you will be rejected, and that’s just something you can’t take any more of.
But Matthew 11 speaks to the truth of who we are to Jesus.
“Come to me, all who are weary…”
It doesn’t say get your things together and come to me.
It doesn’t say beat your addiction first and I will accept you. Or lose 50 pounds and come to me. Or stop looking at porn on the internet.
Jesus just says, simply and beautifully, “Come to me….”
“Come to me.”
All who are weary.
I don’t know about you, but when I finally made the decision to give my life over to God, I was tired as hell, and getting more exhausted by the second.
Don’t be that person any longer.
Find rest for your soul.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”