2012 has been an exceptionally busy year for me personally. I had the privilege of seeing my 4th child born. I accepted a call to pastor a church in Jackson, Mississippi. Making knew friends, finding new doctors, discovering the best route to the grocery store, all a part of the moving process. And to top it off our oldest son went away to boarding academy for his freshman year. 2012 has been an exceptionally busy year for me personally. Can you relate? We live a busy, at times complicated, ever-changing life. However there is one thing that should never be complicated or busy. It is something that never changes. It’s found in the place the dove found his home.
We live a busy existence. Sometimes our Christian experience becomes too busy. In a faith where the yoke is to be easy and the burden is to be light we often complicate and make cumbersome. Just because life can be confounding, confusing, complicated, doesn’t mean our relationship with Christ needs to be. His grace is the one thing that never changes. It is the one consistency in a world of inconsistency that helps me through the busyness of life. It reminds me that my salvation begins and ends in Christ. I can find a home in the same place the dove found his.
Karl Barth once said: This is faith: that I let Jesus Christ be for me what I am not and cannot be for myself: my truth, my goodness, my righteousness, my salvation; that I let the Word of God be my God, my Creator and Preserver, my Lord and Savior (1). When that becomes our reality we find peace. Otherwise we find ourselves caught up in the busyness of trying to be our own saviors. During the past year if my satisfaction, peace, or hope ever found itself in anything but Christ I felt the water rising over my head. But as the water was rising I would remember Christ is my redemption, hope, and salvation. I don’t need to measure my worth by how much I accomplished on my to-do list, I can find my worth in one person, Jesus. When life feels restless I can find my rest in Jesus. I can find my home in the same place the dove did.
Noah was 600 when the flood came. Creation was being undone. The firmament that separated the waters was being removed. How frightening it must have been. Surely, there where times when Noah wondered if the storm would ever end. In the busyness of feeding the animals, feeding themselves, and everything else that went into surviving, there must have been moments when Noah wondered if the waves would ever stop crashing, if the boat would ever rest on solid ground again. Maybe your wondering if this year will be as busy, stressful, or tumultuous as the last. Maybe your wondering if this year will be any different than the last, like Noah must have wondered each day if the rain would ever stop.
In Genesis 8:1 it says But God remembered Noah…The good news is that God remembers us even when, at times, we get so busy we forget Him. We get busy in our religiosity, our work, in life, and forget that Jesus Christ is for me what I am not and cannot be for myself: my truth, my goodness, my righteousness, my salvation; that I let the Word of God be my God, my Creator and Preserver, my Lord and Savior. We can find a home in the same place the dove did. As Jesus came up from the water, after He was baptized. The heavens opened, and the Spirit of God in the form of a dove descended and rested on Him. When Noah sent forth the dove from the Ark, it could find no resting-place; but now the Son of God had come to do the will of God, and the dove found its resting-place upon Him. (2)
In 2013 make your resting place where the dove did, in Jesus Christ. He is a refuge that brings comfort and peace even in the busiest of times. Don’t complicate what is simple. Salvation begins and ends in Christ. If you found yourself busy in 2012 perfecting your moral record, your career, your diet, your finances, decide to make 2013 the year you rest in the same place the dove did. Remember, of all the accomplishments you might have made last year, or might want to make in 2013, the most important one is the one that brings us closer to home, closer to Jesus Christ. In the busyness of life, when the flood waters rise, we can find our home in the same place the dove did. Make Jesus everything in 2013.
2013 Copyright Richie Halversen
(1) Excerpt From: Barth, Karl. “God Here and Now.” Routledge, 2003. iBooks
(2) Dwight Lyman Moody. “Men of the Bible.” iBooks.