School days are upon us again. There will be broken pencils and slow computers, late night study-sessions and pop-quizzes, new friends and classmate conflicts, gifted teachers and “light bulb” moments, and maybe even a few tears. And there will be lots and lots of reading.
But more certain than any of the predictable moments of the school year is this truth: “Surely [not maybe] goodness and mercy shall follow me all [not some] of the days of my life” (Ps. 23:6, emphasis mine).
“With God these qualities are not merely solid and dependable” explains Derek Kidner, “but vigorous—for ‘follow’ does not mean here to bring up the rear but to pursue.”
If you are a Christian, goodness and mercy pursue you “always” says Charles Spurgeon: “the black days as well as the bright days. Goodness supplies our needs, and mercy blots out our sins.”
Goodness is shadowing us in the halls of school or the kitchen table at home to provide all we need—strength, wisdom, perseverance and patience—to help us glorify God. And mercy is right behind, to pick us up when we fall, bringing pardon for our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ.
What a promise to take with us into the first days of school—and all the school days thereafter!
Happy 5 years to the girl who makes her family laugh! You are loved, Emmy!
Labor Day is for many, a day to rest from work. But how do we find rest for our restless souls? Scripture, which is always saying things we don’t expect, tells us to find rest by walking.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jer. 6:16, emphasis mine)
Rest for our souls is found when we search out and walk in the ancient paths, on God’s Good Highway. How do we do this? Through repentance and obedience to God’s Word. Our souls find rest when, by the power only available through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we obey.
This isn’t always the answer we want to hear. Like the original recipients of God’s message through the prophet, we often cross our arms and stand still. We want to find rest some other way than God’s way. Derek Kidner comments:
As for the compassionate offer of rest for your souls, it is brushed aside—for as sinners we do not take kindly either to God’s diagnosis of our restless state or to his remedy for it. That remedy…both here and in our Lord’s quotation of the last line (Mt. 11:29), is no rest-cure but a redirection: the blessed relief of stepping out along the right way. Jesus interprets this in personal terms of walking with him as his working partners (‘my yoke upon you’) and his pupils (‘learn from me’). ~The Message of Jeremiah, p. 46, emphasis mine
We find relief from the weariness of sin when we walk with God as his servants and his students. We find rest for our souls when we take a step of repentance for our laziness or anger, our anxiety or our judging and trust in the forgiveness that comes only through the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
So what good and ancient road of obedience do we need to take a step down today?
Let’s walk to get some rest.