I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of living for myself; living by my own life.
Daily, we come up against two options. They are very much distinct, and very much the opposite of one another.
The first is self. The natural tendency to get what I want above all the others; for every decision throughout the day to be made on that basis: what I can get out of this or that.
The self-life doesn’t always manifest in bad or negative things. Even good things. For example, I can (on my own accord) try to be less selfish. I can try to be patient with people. I can try to show kindness to everyone and love my neighbor as myself. But if I do these things on my own power, I will most certainly fail…every time.
So what’s the other option? Well, it is most certainly the best and the most fulfilling, and yes, even rewarding of them all! This one is to live by the Life that is in Christ.
What ever do I mean by that?
You see, I am not patient. I am quite possibly the furthest thing from patient you will ever see. I am not kind. Even if I am kind (on my own strength) it is for selfish gain, so you will be kind to me. I simply cannot love you or anyone else, especially my enemies!
But the difference is that Christ, the Son of God, lives His life in and through you and me if we simply allow Him to do so. (I will say that there is an aspect of self-denial here, or better put, an aspect of the cross in our lives. But that’s a different topic for a different day.)
Christ is patient. Christ is kind. Christ loves His enemies as well as His brothers and sisters, daughters and sons. That is the glory of the gospel. Not only do we become saved by His work on the cross, but He comes to dwell inside of us! Not only are we ourselves clean because of Him, but He says, “My child, I crucified you 2000 years ago. You died with me. So because you are now dead, live therefore in Me.” (See Galatians 2:20, Romans: 6:4-10, 8:11)
If I allow Him to live His life through me, then all the striving and effort to be a good person, be patient to others, show kindness to people, and love others as myself, will cease. I will then begin to rest in Christ. Then and only then will I understand the meaning of, “Come to Me, and I [Jesus] will give you rest.”
True rest is found only in Christ. Amen.