I remember a very special pair of boots that I had owned and worn for many long years. They were so comfortable and walked many miles through all weather conditions. They finally had great holes in the sides and with much sadness I parted with these dear ‘worn’ friends that had protected my feet over many miles.
The wearing process started from day one but went by unnoticed for years as the heel slowly, almost imperceptibly wore on the one side and the sole of my boots began to wear very thin. The tough leather began to give way as the stitches pulled out and the leather began to tear due to walking over rough terrain and regular use over time!
There is a story in this which I want to share with you.
Recently, I was made aware of the phrase in Daniel. “…the wearing down of the saints…”
Now, it goes without saying that we are living in very challenging times and there is a process of ‘wearing’ going on amongst the saints. It is slow, often painful but over time it can go by unnoticed. And we may be completely unaware of it’s danger!
This wearing or eroding of the precious life of God within us can slowly but surely be replaced by fear, anxiety, irritability, unbelief and discouragement. However, it does not have to be so for God’s people!
After a personal experience of ‘ feeling completely worn down’ I was drawn to these statements in Isaiah.
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…”
The Lord continued to encourage me. Don’t exchange beauty for ashes, confidence in Me for fear and anxiety, Trust in Me for unbelief and My Presence living and real for a dependence upon your own capabilities! We need not trade His power, perfected in our weakness for intimidation and lies. There is no condemnation, only affirmation.
How good Jesus is and how completely trustworthy during challenging times like these. It is no wonder we are told to “…guard our heart, for it is the wellspring of life…”
We can be refreshed and revitalized daily as we walk in step with the Lord. Finally, I reflected on this statement made by Jesus which is for you and I today.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn how to live freely and lightly.” [TM]