For the “stalled out,” tired, and worn down

 “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 to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30; The Message Bible

For those who feel stalled-out in their walk with Christ; tired and worn down, distracted, overwhelmed with busy-ness…

Welcome to being 100% normal. The ancient Christians were no different. Which is why Paul wrote,

“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.” – Ephesians 3:18

When you’re floundering in “all things life,” what’s typically missing is a need to refocus on Jesus’ incomprehensible love for you, which is precisely why Paul wrote the above to the believers at Ephesus.

We can grow in Christ no further than we can enjoy his embrace of us.

The Puritan, John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress said if God were to cease loving, he would cease being.

The Reformer, Jonathan Edwards:

“God is, as it were, an infinite ocean of love, without shores, without bottom, yea, and without a surface.”

And, almost inconceivably,

That thing about you that makes you wince most only strengthens his delight in embracing you. At your point of deepest shame and regret, that’s where Christ loves you the most.

Whether you have ignored it, neglected it, squandered it, misunderstood it, or hardened yourself to it—the Lord Jesus Christ approaches you today not with arms crossed but with arms open, the very position in which he hung on the cross, and he says to you:

Step in out of that storm. Let your heart crack open to Joy.

I was punished so that you don’t have to be. I was arrested so you could go free. I was indicted so you could be exonerated. I was executed so you could be acquitted. 

Plunge your parched soul into the sea of my love.  There you will find rest, relief, and friendship your heart longs for.

*** From Deeper by Dane Ortlund, with paraphrasing.