Category Archives: Guide Dog Adventures

Guide Dog Tales: Come Close

Come Close

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 NKJV

Two of Iva’s many commands are “Come” and “Close”.” “Come is reserved for times when she is off-leash, and I need her to come to me. “Close” is usually used when she is on her leash, and I want to draw her close to my body in order to position her in a “Sit” and “Down” to tuck her out of the way. For instance, I use it while I sit on the bench at Walmart, waiting for my husband. I like to keep her from laying in the busy aisle.

One Sunday, at church, as I headed to the altar, I noticed Iva’s pace was much faster than normal. Normal for church that is. Then I realized why. My pastor was saying, “Come…come.” Iva thought Pastor Ray was calling her to come to him. But Pastor Ray’s invitation was an extension of the authoritative call to repentance from Jesus Christ found in the above verse.

Jesus welcomed all to come to Him, those who labored under sin’s burden. Those who were heavy laden under hundreds of Jewish manmade laws that had been added to the laws of God. Those who were weary from the burdens of life. “Come to Me,” said Jesus, “and I will give you rest.” Rest from sin’s power. Rest from sin’s penalty. Rest from our heavy load. Rest from the burdens of religious leaders.

Do you need His rest today? Most of us live overloaded schedules and find little time for rest. Why is that? Could it be that we haven’t heeded Jesus’ call to come to Him? Are you living a life under the reign of sin? Jesus says, “Come!” Go to Him with a repentant heart.

Maybe like the Jews in Jesus’ day, you have religion, but you don’t have the relationship. Many denominations, churches, and people are still depending on good works. Works won’t get you to heaven, but the rest Jesus offers will.

Perhaps, you have the right relationship with Christ, but the troubles of life weigh you down. Those are the moments when we need to come close. We need to get in the presence of our Father. We cannot burn the candle at both ends and expect the rest Jesus promised when we have little time for Him. Get in the presence of Jesus.

Do we rush to the Lord with heightened expectancy like Iva scurried to Pastor Ray? Do we linger in the presence of the Holy Spirit soaking in His anointing, His blessings, His grace, His peace, and His joy?

Sweet friend, we have to seek the presence Of Jesus if we long for His rest. He desires to help us carry the load, but we must be close enough for Him to do it.

Go to the Lord in prayer. He is calling you. Seek Him, and give Him all those burdens you have tried handling on your own. Give them to the one who cares for you.

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7)

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Throwback Thursday: From Scars to Strength

FROM SCARS TO STRENGTH

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,

For in you do I trust?

Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Psalm 143:8 NKJV

If King David was alive today, he may be diagnosed with clinical depression. We can safely agree that he had more than his share of heartache. His child with Bathsheba died a few days after birth. One son raped his sister. Another rebelled against David and he was finally killed. David spent time many nights in caves hiding from King Saul. David’s brothers mocked him, and his father never once considered that David could possibly be king. This man after God’s own heart was not spared from deep emotional distress, and neither are we.

Can you relate to David’s cry in verse 7? “My spirit fails!”? His spirit was overwhelmed and his

heart distressed (Ps. 143:4).

You may struggle with depression or other health issues. Your bank account may be broke. Your child has strayed. Your loved ones have passed. You are caring for aging parents and their health needs. It can be a myriad of circumstances, but the result is brokenness.

This shattered life greets you each morning with a reminder that this nightmare is a reality. The pain you hide eludes peace and joy. The enemy succeeds as you doubt God. Doubt your salvation. Doubt your spirituality.

May I suggest that David’s heartache made him a mighty warrior and a great king? His scars became his strengths. Jesus Christ bears the scars in His hands, from the nails that pierced Him. He puts our crumbling lives back together. Your scars from today will be your strengths for tomorrow. Trust God, as David did. Never allow the enemy, whether human or spirit, to cause you to feel shame over your turmoil. One day, it will be a memory and you will be a more powerful Christian because of it.

Heavenly Father, Hear our cries, soothe our broken hearts, and mend us as You comfort our overwhelmed souls. Thank You though we may fall apart, You continue to put us back together better than ever. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Psalm 143.

HIKING THE TRAIL

It is in our weakest moments when God is glorified. Never consider yourself any less spiritual in those seasons. God is glorified through it.

 

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.