Come to Me
by Seattle ALC
The summer season is a special time here in the Northwest. Even with our temperate climate we enjoy the sunshine and warm days. It has been a time of travel in past years. Not so much this summer with the restrictions in place due to the Covid 19 pandemic. We have also experienced less social gathering, including our time of gathering together at our house of worship. As I have watched our lawn start to brown, due to lack of water, I have remembered the dry times in my life. Time spent in military service, apart from the physical gathering to worship. What a blessing it is to know that Jesus cares, and is with us at all times. The following article was written 29 years ago by Pastor Holmgren, but He who is ” the way, the truth, and the life”, will always be the same! – Pastor Stan
Come to Me
“Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” This is an invitation that was extended by the Lord during his ministry here on earth. His life among those he came to save was one constant expression of love and concern for the troubled, the burdened, and the afflicted. He always had time for those whose lives were marred by sin and all the accompanying trials which result from the tragedy which occurred in the Garden of Eden during the lifetime of Adam and Eve. He proved to be the compassionate friend of all those whom he met who labored under the calamities that sin had brought into their lives. The gospel records are replete with examples of the many who found rest for their souls when they accepted this invitation and placed their burdens upon him.
Many were also afflicted with physical ailments–either themselves, their children, their servants, or some friend. Having heard of Jesus, they came to him and were released from their burdens.
One came to Jesus with a withered hand. Another was dumb and blind. A woman came who had suffered from a blood disorder for twelve years and had spent all her money in doctoring. A mother sought help for her daughter who was possessed by the devil. A father pleaded for his critically ill son. “Come before my child dies,” he said. Another father came for release of his son from a life-long illness which manifested itself in epileptic-like seizures which could cause him to fall both into fire and water. A woman who had been seriously crippled for eighteen years so that she could not stand erect came for help.
A gentile centurion possessed faith in the willingness of and the power of Jesus to heal his servant. However, he did not feel worthy that Jesus should enter his house, but believed that a word spoken by Jesus was sufficient for healing. Two blind men who were sitting by a road when the Lord passed by cried out for his help. Even though people around them told them to be quiet, they called the louder. A paralytic was carried on his own bed by four men and was lowered through a hole in the roof into the house where Jesus was a guest. A man was healed who could not walk and been waiting by the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years for a healing opportunity.
The sorrow which Martha and Mary knew at the death of their brother Lazarus caused each of them to say, ” Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died” and Martha to add, “But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it to you.”
The Apostle Peter’ s mother-in-law was healed and arose and ministered to those who had come to her house. The fear of drowning which filled the hearts of the disciples when their boat took on water during a storm caused them to awaken Jesus from sleep. He calmed the winds and the waves so that it was said of Him, “What manner of man is this that even the winds and the waves obey him!”
All of these people found a compassionate friend in Jesus–one who was willing and able to help them. He understood each of them; he knew their needs. Very often he spoke the word which released them not only from their physical burden, but from the weight of their sin as well.
Early in my ministry, I met a lady who was enduring the lingering effects of a serious illness. She told me that as difficult as her illness had become for her, it also had some important benefits. She explained by saying that when she was well, she had no serious thoughts about her soul. She did not concern herself with the question: ” Where will I spend eternity?” However, during her illness, she came to realize how short-sighted she was in neglecting the most important thing of all. These serious thoughts lead her to ask: “What must I do to be saved?” It was a joy to preach Jesus to her, assuring her that she could freely believe that her sins were forgiven in the name and in the atoning blood of the Saviour. She believed the gospel, received rest for her soul, and was also able to place the burden of her permanent physical disability in the hands of the Lord, assured that if she did not receive healing for her body in this life, she would, nevertheless, in her new and gloried body walk the streets of gold in the celestial city.
Whatever our burdens may be, the Lord still today invites us to come to him and find rest. I do not know the individual circumstances of each one who may be reading this message. The Lord may be calling some to repentance and faith in him. Others may be undergoing a part of the trail of faith as believers– a trial that Apostle Peter calls more precious than that of gold which perishes.
If in all the vicissitudes of life, we can come to the Lord, place our trust in him and our lives in his hand acknowledging that he is the potter and we are the clay, we will prove the scripture promise that in all things God works together for good to them that love the Lord.
By Pastor Emeritus Alvin C. Holmgren
Reprinted from July 1991
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