Monday, May 9, 2016

Come, Weary Saints

My grandma was an amazing lady. I spent a week with her several summers in a row, and it was always a learning experience. She was born and raised in what she called the “hillbilly holler” of southern Missouri. I don’t know a lot about her childhood, but I’m pretty sure she grew up without much in the way of material things, and I got the impression that her life was pretty difficult. She thought nothing of wringing a chicken’s neck or skinning a squirrel (yes, we ate squirrel), and she worked very hard in her garden, and at canning its produce. The coolest thing about my grandma was that she could cut a wasp in half with her sewing scissors, mid-flight! I’m not kidding, I saw her do it more than once.

Grandma was tough. I always admired her strength and endurance, but every now and then, she would sit down beside me on the porch swing and say, “Suzy, I am bone weary.” I didn’t really understand what she meant back then, being nine or ten years old and unfamiliar with such weariness. But, as this life goes on, I hear her voice in my head pretty often, as I now understand what it means to be bone weary. Do you?

We who suffer with chronic pain know at least as well as anyone else what weariness is. Sometimes, we begin the day already weary, from a night of tossing and turning, trying to ease aching joints or the pain of disease. Being weary is different from being tired, though. Sometimes, being tired can mean a day well spent doing the work of life, having a sense of productivity or accomplishment. Weariness, though, has an element of emotion. Weariness is more than tired. It is tired and drained. Tired and worn. Tired and weak. Weariness is spiritual.

There is a beautiful song that I often sing to myself, called Hide Away in the Love of Jesus. Here are a few of the words:
Come, weary saints, though tired and weak
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Your strength will return by His quiet streams
Hide away in the love of Jesus

I love these lyrics! Weary saints don’t get their strength back by sleep or physical rest alone, as much as we do just by being near to Him. While sleep is good and necessary for those who are tired, weary ones need those quiet streams: To get off alone with the Lord, to hide away in His love.

Come, wandering souls, and find your home
Hide away in the love of Jesus
He offers the rest that you yearn to know
Hide away in the love of Jesus

Like it or not, we are prone to wander. When pain is intense and the pressures of life threaten to overwhelm us, we may be tempted to drift from the Lord, disappointed in what seems to be unanswered prayers for relief. This beautiful lyric invites us to return to the Lord, finding our home once again in Him. He knows our yearning for rest, and He wants to satisfy it with His love.

Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
In the wounds of His grace
Hide away

Just as He called you at the moment of your salvation, He is calling you now in your weariness, dear reader. He loves you with an everlasting love, and He calls you His own. Just as my dear grandmother used to call me back home when I had wandered too far down her gravel road, our Lord calls us back to His side, and reminds us once again of the depth of His love, and of the price He paid for our weary soul. So come, hide away in His love, and rest. Your weariness will be turned to worship, and your wandering to rest. Hallelujah! What a Renewer! What a Savior!