Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
~ Matthew 11:28 (NIV) ~
Those December 1987 meetings with my counselor also brought about another relationship. She told me that there was a greater need inside of me, “Maria, God is important to you, you need to get right with Him.”
Still, I didn’t know how it was going to happen. Christmas and New Year’s were coming up and we couldn’t meet to talk about how God is found. I assured her that I would do my best to “get right with God.”
I began by searching for the only true Christian I knew—Wendy. She was the only one who could tell me how I could find God and make peace with Him. But, I couldn’t locate her; it seemed like every attempt at contacting her was being blocked. I was at a standstill.
One Wednesday night in the middle of January 1988, when I was disheartened and sitting alone at the dinner table, the phone rang. I picked up the receiver to hear, “Hello Maria, do you recognize this voice from your past?”
It was Wendy! I was so overwhelmed that I kept repeating, “Jesus loves me, Wendy! Jesus loves me!”
I had sought God and He found me—a weary, sinful, burdened, and broken woman!
When I spoke with my counselor, she was surprised to find that I was doing so well. “Jesus loves me,” I told her, “My life is different now, I won’t be coming to see you anymore.” It was true; that night my life changed dramatically. All the weight of the baggage on my back was gone. Jesus made me new again—my steps were lighter, my laughter heartier, and joy filled my heart. Jesus loved me!
In hindsight, I see that December 1987 had a purpose—reconciliation. I was first reconciled to my earthly father because it paved the way to reconciliation with my heavenly Father. You see, I needed to know the love of my earthly father in order to know that my heavenly Father also loved me. Also, that I could be forgiven for the wrong that I’d committed against them.
It makes sense to me that God began that reconciliatory work in me during Christmas. The birth of Jesus was the Father’s way of reconciling us to Him (see 2 Corinthians 5:18 and Colossians 1:19-20 below).
This is love in its fullest expression, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, NLT). He’s done all the work for us, all we have to do is accept His love. No one is too far gone that he/she isn’t loved or can’t be found by Him.
Are you weary and burdened and you don’t know what to do? Jesus is calling you to go to Him. Will you respond to His call? When you answer, you will find the love and rest you need. If you can’t go to Him, just call out His name, you will find and be found by Him. “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:13, NKJV).
Abba, Father, from the first, Your love captured me. And now, almost 30 years later, Your compassion and faithfulness are constant, as is Your presence. Your patience with me has never worn thin or out. When I fall, You’re ready to forgive me. You make me strong when I am weak in Your grace. You hold me up when I can’t stand. Nothing is too hard for You—all my need is met. You are the “the LORD who heals…” (Exodus 15:26, NLT).
Thank You, Jesus, for bringing me to Your Abba, Father, who is now my Abba; You love me! Amen.
2 Corinthians 5:19: “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them….” (NLT)
Colossians 19:19-20: “For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (NLT).