Keys to the Kingdom by Carolyn Tucker
My daughter was engaged for a year before her marriage in 2009, so we had 12 months to have fun planning and shopping for the wedding. Seriously, during that year everything was stress-free and very pleasant for me. But the actual day of the wedding was a different story just because of nerves. When I got home, I felt like I’d been dragged through a knothole backwards. Knotholes come in all different shapes and sizes. Believe me, there’s one out there with your name on it. If you live long enough, you’ll eventually have to deal with at least one. During those times, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NLT).
From personal experience, I need three types of rest: physical, spiritual, and emotional. When God says to come to Him and He will give you rest, that’s exactly what He means. God’s got what we need — He’s simply waiting for us to meet His conditions in order to receive the rest we require. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours (Mark 11:22-24 NLT). I’ve never needed to change the terrain, but Jesus is using a vivid word picture to teach believers that we must have great faith in order to slam the door on doubt and move our problems on out.
If I live an exhausted physical lifestyle because I’m running full throttle in the fast lane and not ever getting enough sleep or rest, God isn’t obligated to help me because I’m intentionally operating in stupid mode. But if we‘re tired because we’re the caregiver for aging parents, ill family members, etc., God will supply us with the energy and ability to do what needs to be done. “My grace is all you need, for My power is greatest when you are weak” (2 Corinthians 12:9 GNT).
If my spiritual well is dry, I can’t offer water to anyone that’s thirsty. Paul prayed for spiritual growth for the Ephesus believers, and it’s also for us. “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 5:16-20 NLT).
Paul also wrote to the church in Philippi regarding emotional rest. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus“ (Philippians 4:6,7 NLT).
The Key: When your personalized knothole arrives, you need to be able to crawl through it and come out sunny-side up.