Today, I had to take about a 3 hour drive, as I was going along I started getting a little tired, wanted to stretch and all, so I started watching for a rest area. This stretch of road is familiar to me but I get there and see that it is closed. Barricade at the drive and a sign saying private property. Then, I remembered that there was something about the state discontinuing rest areas in most places, closing them and selling the property. The justification was that the rest areas were not used enough to warrant the expense associated with keeping them open and it was a duplication because so many truck stops/travelers areas now that people could go there to stretch, use bathroom, etc. I think they closed at least 3/4 of them. I personally prefer the rest areas unless I need gas, coffee or something to eat. They are usually way better landscaped, peaceful unless busy travel time and such. While the traveler centers are busy, packed, commercialized and not really enjoyable areas to walk. Asphalt and concrete, cars buzzing in and out way to fast.
As I thought about that, I thought some about how not only on road trips does one need a rest stop, but how we need them spiritually as well. Going to church, praying, reading the scripture and just praising God. Years ago I was in the place I belonged spiritually. I attended church regularly, read the Bible daily, prayed daily and was active in the church. Then, I went to college (later in life, about 10 years later than typical) work schedule changed to accommodate school schedule and was working weekends all the time. So, no time for church on Sundays, Wednesdays I was usually tired, or had to study. I got myself too busy to find time. Well, really, one can always find the time to read the Bible and pray and spend time with the Lord. But, I allowed myself to get into that mindset. So, I drifted away, slowly at first, then a little quicker. Initially, I felt bad about not going to church or praying, then, less so, then, it really didn’t occur to me that it was a concern. Oh, occasionally I would think about it and tell myself I was going to do as I should, but, then got busy again and that went on, for quite some time. And, that failure to stop at the rest areas, take time for find the peace, comfort and spiritual rejuvenation I needed took a toll. Oh, it wasn’t a quick process, but it happened, as I said, slowly at first, then faster.
I became spiritually exhausted, weary, tired. I tried carrying all the burdens on my own. I had no place that I went for spiritual rest and comfort. I had a void in my soul.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Jeremiah 31:25
Yes, I had put a heavy yoke on myself, I had not sought rest or a lighter burden. I was so wrapped up in life that I did not live for Christ. But, now, I found THE REST AREA. I drink from the fountain of His word, I was weary, needing that rest, He replenished my soul. He took that heavy burden and gave me a light burden. Oh, there are times I get weary, tired, feel weak spiritually, but I stop at the rest area. I take time to pray, read the Bible, seek Christ and I get revitalized.
Jesus, I thank You for my salvation that You paid for with Your life. For my redemption You earned with Your resurrection. I praise You. Thank You for the mercies and forgiveness You gave me. Thank You for the spiritual rest, the replenishing water of life and the lighter load. I pray You will continue to work on me to make me into the servant You want me to be. I ask You work in hearts and minds of loved ones, draw them to you.
Thanks for the time. I hope someone finds a bit of good in this that will help them. Share as you feel He directs. And, no matter what, be a blessing to someone.