"Come to me, all 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 heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:28-29 NIV)
Every other month, I do my best to schedule myself a visit to the message therapist. I remember during my last visit thinking to myself, how I was about to treat my body to something good and delightful that morning. Yes, there was dim lighting; Yes, there was a soft message therapy table; Yes, there was soothing rain forest music playing in the background. The room had everything that one needed to help one get into a relaxed state of mind. Lastly, yes, there was a professional and certified message therapist who's number one mission was to help bring relief to my body. But let me be very clear here, my experience during this last session was everything but good and delightful. It was probably the most painful one I had experienced yet. My friends, knots and tension are NO JOKE. They Suck! At one moment I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and say, I Give Up!...Uncle!,...Fine! I'll give up the information just tell me what you want. You see, knots, or muscles adhesions as they are commonly referred to, come in the size of pin heads or the size of your thumb which can be found in our bodies like our back, our neck, our shoulders, our arms, and legs. They are typically the results of overworked and improperly recovered muscles, but they can also be symptoms of stress or dehydration. When these symptoms are not addressed, they can cause tightness and stiffness throughout our body ultimately effecting our physical posture and well being making it difficult to go about our daily activities. The following are daily practices that can help us avoid these kinds of situations, like staying hydrated, stretching, using foam rollers, exercising, resting or in my case scheduling a one-on-one visit to see the message therapist.
Throughout this painful session experience, I couldn't help but think about this kind of tension and knots we at times can experience in our own spiritual lives. Sometimes we can carry it in our hearts. Sometimes we can carry it in our minds. Sometimes we can carry it in our soul. When we ignore these symptoms and choose to not acknowledge them, we then open ourselves up to experience more stress, more fear, more anger, more worry, more sin, more shame, more despair, and more hopelessness. These things are not what Jesus desires for us today. You see, when we make it our priority to address the spiritual symptoms in our lives, we are not only saying yes to God's invitation to come as we are. We are also giving God permission to meet with us in the real places of our lives and to care for us there (Tweet This). And as we practice this way of life, we open ourselves up to His love, His peace, His joy, His forgivness, His mercy, His grace, His freedom, His healing, His hope and victory. Who better to model this truth for us, than Jesus himself. Throughout Scripture we see Him making time to be alone with his heavenly Father. "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (Luke 5:16 NIV) Jesus knew that His source of love, strength, selflessness, peace, joy, hope, power, focus, patience, and confidence was found in no other, but in God alone.
There will be times when one-on-one sessions with God won't always be about feeling good and relaxed, sometimes, it's about going through the grind and dealing with your stuff head on (Tweet This). Trust me, I may have went into this message session with an attitude that sang, "Let me hear joy and gladness", but instead, I was screaming "Let the bones you have crushed rejoice". As I endured this session, I knew the message therapist was not putting me through this pain and agony to hurt me, but to help me find the relief and healing my body needed. The following are daily practices that can help us experience God's care and rest for our heart, mind, and soul: Prayer, Scripture, Confession, and Community.
If you have spiritual symptoms that need addressing, let me encourage you to schedule a one-on-one session with God today. Now in order to do this, we need to set some time aside throughout the day or the week. This will also require us to disconnect from our phones and remove ourselves from all distractions. Jesus says, "Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace" (Matthew 6:6 Msg.) As we find ourselves alone with God, He draws near to you and makes the invitation "Come To Me",
My hope and prayer is that you were blessed and encouraged by this blog.