Imagine that you are a weary traveler. Dark bags circle your eyes from sleeplessness. Your clothes are dirty, and your shoes have holes at the soles. Your right hand loosely carries a backpack. Unfortunately, the backpack carries no food. You peruse every pocket for a crumb or forgotten snack. But you only see dust. Your stomach growls in response. Though you have journeyed days without nourishment or slumber, you do not know how much longer you can take. Your body is now weak, and your limbs are frail. On the gravel road ahead, you pass by house after house. You peer into the windows, hoping a host will invite you to a bed and a seat at the dinner table.
Sin made us restless and starved wanderers. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had a home in paradise. They also had access to an array of produce because of the life-giving presence of God. But, because they chose disobedience, Adam and Eve no longer partook of the garden's bounty. Instead, outside of fellowship with God, they were left with lack. Adam had to till cursed ground which was subject to famine and fruitlessness. Furthermore, the Lord evicted them from their heavenly abode. The man and woman had no place to rest from anxious toil or the threats of spiritual evil.
Similar to our first parents, we are vulnerable travelers, and our sins have rendered us malnourished. We trek through life's journey without a true place to call home and without a sustaining meal. Though we could live in a five-bedroom house or have a private chef, without the presence of God, we do not have the true rest or nourishment that our souls need. We are weak and frail as we navigate the road ahead. We try to live off of the morsels we find in the world: career achievement, social media visibility, and financial prosperity. But these things do not truly satisfy or bring security. Our idols, which are objects that falsely receive utmost value and attention, tempt us with decadent promises of a better reality. But their covers of comfort end up choking us, and their dessert is simply poison.
In Jesus, we do not have to wander or go hungry. For those of us who cling to Christ, we have a place in His eternal home and are full in His righteousness. The Father sent His Son to pursue His lost ones–the ones journeying toward sin's destruction. Jesus Christ saved us from this path through His life, death, and resurrection. By His saving work, Jesus satisfies our needs. He offered Himself as the Sabbath rest and the Bread of Life(Matthew 12: 8, John 6:35). If we are looking for a bed and seat at the dinner table, the door to Jesus's house is always open.
You feel the warmth of the yellow candlelight radiating through the windows as you approach the premises. By His Spirit, Jesus draws you inside. With the humility of the Canaanite woman who sought little blessing from the Lord (Matthew 15:21–28), you only expect a slice of bread or two. But, when you enter, you notice an abundant meal suited for royalty, and around the wooden table are other weary travelers. One seat is empty, and down the hall, a bedroom is vacant; both have your name on them. With delight in His eyes, Jesus invites you to rest in and feed on His sustaining grace forever.His love overwhelms you, and you cannot resist His offer.
Though we were rebellious and ran away from our relationship with Him, God still was committed to restoring the lasting satisfaction and security we once had in the garden of Eden. Now, we have rest that animates our eyes, and we have nourishment that fills our souls. Because we still journey in a fallen world and have not yet reached eternity, we will wrestle with weakness and frailty. But we can rejoice in the God who sustains us through Christ.
What does resting in and feeding on God's grace practically look like? They look like applying the calming and nourishing power of the gospel to our souls through regular Scripture reading, prayer, and community fellowship. At times, we may struggle with shame when we fail to participate in these spiritual disciplines. But falling behind on a Bible study plan or forgetting to pray does not upset God if we are in Christ. Instead, it could be helpful to see these cases as more like missing out on a great meal or good night's rest. The Lord knows that we will grow weary again in daily life. And, through Jesus, God's door is always open, inviting us to return to life in Him.