Who will rescue me?
CAPTAIN BARBARA SLOAN –
We all have problems. We are under constant stress from one thing or another: an interview is coming up–someone we know and love is sick–our finances are shaky–we feel depressed and find it difficult to watch the news on TV or think about anyone else’s troubles.
Stress is a common fact in our lives. We are not at peace. So what do we do about it?
A lot of people do nothing…they feel somehow this is their lot in life–or they feel powerless to change things. Others–those blessed with the conviction that they should be more at ease with themselves and with the world around them–are more active.
Many turn to the solutions offered at the local library and at the supermarket stands or on TV. They buy self-help manuals or watch shows featuring pop psychologists, hoping against hope that by following the instructions of the book or enacting the principles outlined in 30 minutes by some expert on the tube–that they will be able to get a grip on their problems, and find a happier and more fulfilling life.
Yet, despite all their efforts they are as tired and unhappy as those who have done nothing–perhaps more so, since the rules and regulations and principles they try to follow require a lot of hard work.
Who will rescue me? is a cry heard in the depths of our hearts. Who will rescue me…who will rescue me from the aimlessness of my life? Who will rescue me from my pain and loneliness? Who will rescue me from myself?
Again, hoping against hope, some turn to religion. We turn to the values and principles taught to us in childhood and we try to live our lives by the Ten Commandments and the laws taught to us by Moses, Jesus and Paul. But, like Paul, we find there is a war going on inside, and we end up saying with him: What a wretched person I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
But there is a better way–a better way than that which is offered to us by a religion based on do’s and don’ts, laws and regulations. The way I am referring to will strike many as being very silly, very simplistic, very naive, but I assure you that it is not–even when applied to problems that are larger than our own personal ones.
God wants us to understand and find solutions to our problems. And so, God has arranged things so that it is not our knowledge that is important, but rather our hearts and our will. God wants us to have peace and fulfillment, and so there is nothing complicated here, instead there is only a call, a call to yield ourselves to God, a call to follow Jesus and enter into a relationship with him. As a theologian once put it: “the heart, not the head, is the home of the gospel.”
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” What Jesus is saying is: My burden is light, it is not meant to weigh you down with demands, it is not rules and regulations about what you can and cannot do, nor is it a task that you will hate doing. What ever Jesus sends us, and whatever he asks of us is made to fit our needs and our abilities exactly; it is made to give not only us, but our whole world rest.
Who will rescue me? Jesus invites us– “come to me, learn from me, take my yoke upon you–and I will give you rest…”
It is a promise that requires a very simple answer on our part to take effect. Come to Jesus like a child–listen to him, talk to him, do what he asks of you, and you will find your rest.