“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
There were numerous gulf fritillary butterflies at the beach this week, more than I’d ever noticed on previous trips to Hilton Head Island. Watching them flit and soar in the unrelenting breeze made me think, “You’ve got to be strong to be a beach butterfly!”
As I strolled the quarter mile from our rental house and then up and down the beach, I also noted there weren’t nearly as many flowers compared to my floriferous garden, where bees and butterflies can pick from a wide variety of colorful options.
Despite the challenges, they seemed joyful. Sometimes the butterflies would gather in groups, then fly separately for a while, only to come back together, fellow travelers making their way to the Florida peninsula.
My family has endured more headwinds than gentle breezes over the past couple of years – Mom’s passing, Dad’s stroke and move to assisted living, and the sale of their house and dispersal of their belongings – and we continue to face trying circumstances. More significant changes are ahead for us.
Unlike in years past, my time at the beach didn’t provide the respite I so desperately needed. We’d barely settled in before we started wondering if we’d have to leave to avoid hurricane Ian. We did end up shortening our trip, and I returned home to all the clutter and responsibilities I’d left just a few days before.
My soul is weary. I need the rest only God can give, but I also need the companionship of those who will speak truth to me, assuring me that His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Ones who will remind me that, like the butterflies, we’re just passing through on our way Home. The afflictions that plague us now are light and momentary compared to the glory that awaits (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Watchful, Welcoming Savior
I enjoyed eating lunch on the screened-in deck at the vacation house. An aged fig tree grew next to it, providing a perch for the birds so I could watch them undetected. There was a noticeable increase in activity and twittering the day before the storm was supposed to hit. I wondered if the birds were strategizing where to hunker down and how to make it through the storm. I hope one of them reminded the others, “We don’t need to worry. His eye is always on us!” (Matthew 10:29)
I may not have found the rest I was hoping for at the beach, but it’s available to me anytime, anywhere, when I draw close to my gentle and lowly Savior, Who beckons me to come to Him for comfort, solace, and assurance. The things my weary soul is longing for most.
O gentle Jesus, thank You that You will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick (Isaiah 42:3). We know You are acquainted with our grief and have borne our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4), so we approach Your throne of grace confidently in our time of need to find the grace and mercy You’ve promised (Hebrews 4:16).