This is the final installment of a short series I wrote on resting in the Lord. I was asked to give this devotion at the Pastors' Wives Retreat I attend each June. The first two installments are Be Content: Rest in His Provision and Be Confident: Rest in His Promises. I hope you'll go back to them and refresh your memory, or read them for the first time if you haven't already.
|I'm Comfortable Here by Mel B|
Be Comfortable: Rest in His Presence
Every time we see Mary of Bethany in Scripture, she is in the presence of Jesus, and she is comfortable there. How do I know she was comfortable? By the things she did in His presence. At that time and in that culture, women were not seen as equal with men. They would have been serving the meal, but not sitting with the men listening to a teacher visiting in the home. But Mary sat at His feet to hear Him. A woman would not have let down her hair in the presence of men; that would have been considered immodest. But Mary wiped Jesus' feet with her hair. A man probably wouldn't have bothered himself with a woman's grief, but Mary wept at Jesus' feet and poured out her heart to Him when her brother died. And Jesus wept with her.
You see, Jesus wants our fellowship! He wants us to be comfortable with Him. Have you ever had someone in your home that you don't know very well? How do you act while they're there? As a pastor's family, we've hosted lots of preachers and missionaries in our home, and let me tell you, I don't get comfortable with visitors in my home! I don't go and put on my nightgown and robe after supper and lie on the couch reading. We talk about many things, but we don't generally talk about our deepest thoughts and feelings. I fix "nice" food, not beans and potatoes or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But when our children come home, we sit around in our pj's talking, we eat plain old food, and sometimes we talk about the innermost thoughts of our hearts. What's the difference? We are intimately familiar with our children; we are comfortable with them, so we relax around them. Jesus wants us to know Him so well that we can relax with Him and be ourselves. He already knows the real us anyway, doesn't He?!
Some practical applications:
1. Just as Jesus reached out to us in salvation, so he reaches out for fellowship. Matthew 11:28
2. Nothing can separate me from God's love. Romans 8:35, Psalm 103:14
3. Abiding (dwelling) with someone promotes intimacy, and intimacy promotes comfort.
4. Comfort encourages us to give our all to someone. Mary gave the equivalent of a year's salary when she anointed Jesus' feet.
5. Comfort with someone makes it easier when we're misunderstood. Mary's motives were misunderstood by her family (Luke 10:42); her actions were misunderstood by her friends (John 11:31); and her service to the Lord was misunderstood by other believers (John 12:5). Yet she still did what she set out to do because she was comfortable enough with the Lord that she knew He would understand. She could rest in Him because she knew Him.
Are you comfortable in the Lord's presence? Do you know Him well enough to trust Him and rest in Him?