"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

"If any man serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am there shall also My servant be--if any man serves Me, him will My Father honor." John 12:26

The service of Christ in its very activities is Rest. It is the answer to the weary cry and quest of humanity, "Who will show us any good? Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us." "Come unto me," is the address of many siren voices, titillating tones of questionable or forbidden pleasure, leading only to unrest, disquiet, heart-weariness, life-failure--tinted soap bubbles with a momentary iridescence, then collapsing.

"Come unto Me," is the invitation addressed by Jesus; and in that are included many voices of healthful happiness and joy which God Himself approves. But even pleasures, in themselves lawful, fail to insure perfect satisfaction and peace. If they are legitimate and commendable, it is only as means to an end. They are resting-places, but not substitutes for the only true Rest and Hospice in God and His Christ. "You will keep him in perfect peace [literally, peace, peace], whose mind is stayed on You" (Isa. 26:3).

Blessed Savior, Your service alone is perfect freedom! The green pastures and the still waters are only to be found "by the Shepherd's tent." They who have gone the round of all the world's fascinations, are often the first to write on the retrospect, "Not enough." Theirs is the wooden Alpine chalet, for summer joys and summer skies; not the Hospice, with rock foundations and granite walls, the shelter for all seasons--"In summer and winter it shall be." They who have sought the Redeemer with loving purpose, tested Him, proved Him, are able to make the avowal of the Queen of Sheba regarding the true Solomon, "The half was not told me."

Let the philosophic skeptic produce, out of his cold negations, a new Christ better than the Christ of history; a diviner Force, to mold and regenerate humanity, than the Christ of Nazareth; some other and better than He to walk with untiring feet along every path of sorrow, every Via Dolorosa; who, better than He, could impart strength to the palsied arm, courage to the fearful, hope to the hopeless; drying weeping eyes, stilling the throbbings of aching hearts, taking anguish out of loneliness, strewing the wilderness and solitary places with lovelier flowers than those of Eden, opening Hospices all along the pilgrim way up to the very gates of glory--then, but not until then, will we listen to the rejection of "the truth as it is in Jesus."

O Jesus, Son of the Most High God, may it be my habitual desire, in accordance with the words of our meditation, and as evidence of heart-consecration to Your service, to "follow You;" to set You ever before me as my Ideal of all excellence, and to be gradually, however imperfectly, transfigured into Your divine likeness! Let the prayer and resolve of one who knew, more than most, the bliss and security of the Pilgrim-Hospice, be mine--"Let me set forth anew, O Lord, as a pilgrim on the earth, with my rod and staff; and so set my heart on You, that in all places You may be my dwelling-place and home--I in You and You in me" (Memorials of a Quiet Life). May I submissively accept even burdens, if it be Your will that I should carry them, feeling and saying in the spirit of Galileo when he had become blind, "Whatever is pleasing to God is pleasing to me." Then will all trials be made light and all crosses easy.

"There are briers besetting every path,
That call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot,
And an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on You
Is happy everywhere."

Let the wondrous thought included in the Savior's utterance of today prove a further quickener and inspiration--that in thus serving Him, following Him, loving Him, the Father, too, is honored and glorified. Let others be content with seeking rest and peace in the chase of trooping shadows, which perish with the using; be it mine, with rest in possession and glory in prospect, to say– "As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness--I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness."

"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is the place of repose." Isaiah 28:12

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