My colleague, Curtis, read this passage over our community a few weeks ago. Exodus 33.14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” In my communion time, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on this word. I think God has something rich to speak into each of us.
My presence: a phenomena of my journey with Jesus is that I easily forget his presence. It’s as if I’m one of the disciples looking at the clouds waiting for him to come back and forgetting that he IS back. That’s profound! Jesus is back and he is working things out now!
Will go with you: When Curtis read that line, I almost started crying. I think too often I feel like Jesus is in my office and he just sends me out into the world to do his bidding. But that’s not true. Jesus goes with me everywhere I go. That can be a haunting reality, but I find a great deal of hope in that. Jesus sees when I’m being treated unfairly, when I’m being unhelpful, etc… and his presence can be a guide for me. It’s a partnership, not a commanding employer sending me out.
Give you rest: As we go, we can get rest. My whole life, I’ve been told to slow down, take it easy, enjoy life. When I’m told that I really don’t understand it. “When I run, I feel his pleasure.” I’ve noticed that in my life, I embrace the extremes. As I hit a wall, I sit on our bed and talk with Natalie at night and as I pray, I find rest. When I feel the extreme joys, they’re so much more extreme. I have to go, and I have to feel the extremes. The learning curve I’m on now is how to remain a calming presence as I go through those, but the hope from this passage that I have found is I CAN go and experience rest as I’m running hard. I’m not burning out, I’m experiencing extremes. I want to squeeze the life out of life, and when I seem down, it’s okay, I’m learning to find rest in the midst of it. Hitting walls is part of the joy of living… and the harder you hit that wall, the higher you bounce off.