One Thing You Don’t Have to Do Anymore
When I was a teen, I loved nothing more than running. I was fast, and it brought me joy.
As I grew older, I still ran but there was little joy involved.
When I felt vulnerable, I ran emotionally to put distance between myself and circumstances or people.
When I felt God asking me to step into faith, I ran to avoid putting myself “out there.”
When I felt that I’d never measure up, I ran toward comparison.
When you are in the process of healing, running might feel like second nature. It may even make sense deep down where brokenness resides, but there’s another way for we’ve been given a promise.
We can run toward the Healer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)”
I love this invitation even more when I read the passage in The Message.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30 The Msg)”
While I have identified with the feelings described in this passage, after years of running toward Jesus I identify with the promises more.
- Run towardme and recover your life.
- Run towardme to find rest.
- Run towardme to embrace grace.
- Run towardme and you’ll never walk alone again.
We often focus on what we must doto heal.
Today, I want to invite you to focus on one thing you don’t have to do.
You don’t have to run awayanymore.
When you run toward him, there’s direction and wisdom in the midst of our circumstances.
When you run toward him, you don’t have to fear that you’ll disappoint him. God understands that we stumble as we learn, for that is part of learning. We can also celebrate how far we have come and how that delights the heart of our Heavenly Father.
When you run toward him, he meets you right where you are. We know that because Jesus showed us that over and over again throughout scripture. There’s no magical marker you have to achieve before the healing process begins so don’t wait one more second.
Today I would say that I’m still a strong runner, but the direction I run has changed in all the best ways.
I’ve grown more than I could imagine, and that process continues even today. Layer by layer, the healing process led me to the woman God knew I could be all along and I’m grateful.
That promise is for you too.
Are you running away, sweet friend? If so, the invitation in Matthew 11:28 is yours to embrace. Run towardHim and He’ll meet you there.
Q: In what ways have you been running?
Q:Describe one way that Matthew 11:28-30 in The Messagespeaks to you in your healing process.
Now, let’s make that a prayer. I’ll start.
Lord, I’m not going to run away from you. If anything, I want to run toward You with all of my being. Thank you that You search for me, and You found me long ago. I rest as You meet me right where I am. I hide nothing from You, but invite You into my life, my thoughts, my heart all over again. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If you are just joining us for the study, you can buy the book at Proverbs 31 Ministries (every cent goes back into ministering to others), on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Family Christian Bookstores.
Thank you so much for doing this study, Suzie! I read the intro last night and plan to read Chapter 1 tonight. I feel this study is where God has led me so I am excited to see how He works through it!
It’s my pleasure, Ashley. It really is. Thanks for being a part.
I have been running, and didn’t even REALIZE that is what I have been doing! I am sure that you haven’t had a chance yet to read my comment from last night, but when I read the above passage in Matthew, it invites me, even beckons me to stop this frantic searching in all directions that I have been doing. I have been so intent on searching for the love and presence, and rest that Jesus has… Suzie I’ve looked in places where the core beliefs of the church were NOT my beliefs, & I convinced myself that if only I could find the presence of my Jesus there it wouldn’t matter how uncomfortable I felt. When I read above where Jesus says He will not lay anything “ill-fitting” on me, that I can learn the “unforced rhythms of grace,”… there is nothing I needed to hear more than that. HE will meet me where I am! What a beautiful promise! For the first time in a very long time, I had sweet dreams last night. I awoke with HOPE. My Jesus loves me, even still!!!
He loves you still. . . rest in that. Don’t you love it when we sense that voice speaking, leading, showing us what is true and how to take the next step?
I do!!! I was just weeping last night, I was so thankful to sense that Voice. I haven’t known up from down in a long time… Just to know what is true, what I am to do next, and that I can rest in my Father’s love, well, that is priceless. Jesus. Loves. Me!
For today, that is what I will cling to.
Thank you Jessica. I would treasure your prayers. Your words of encouragement mean so much. Blessings Diana
I too want to stop running. Running from my hurt and my unforgiveness, my resentment and my perfectionism. I want to run toward Jesus and learn His was.
I want to be free. The freedom that only come from forgiveness.
Lord, thank you for Holly. You clearly see her. You see that she’s been running, and she’s tired of it. Lord, as she stops today, thank you that she is found by You. Thank you for speaking with Her, conversing, listening, and pointing her in a new direction. Lord, new directions aren’t always easy, but nothing worth pursuing comes easy, but rather becomes a new path, a new way of thinking, a new confidence in who we are. Give Holly what she needs today, and tomorrow. Thank you for her honesty and her courage. She is so loved by You.
Wow. I posted similar words Monday and yesterday. The Lord is speaking to my heart so strongly. This is just what He needs me to know. Yes someone has told me I’ll never change. I am one of those you described that Jesus set free. I weep for all I hurt daily. I know Jesus has forgiven and set me free but it is sinking in so deep now. God bless you Suzie for being used by Him to help us!
I love it when God defies what man says is impossible. When He shows His healing touch. When He brings miracles into the hearts of those hurt, broken, and even deeply entrenched in bondage. It makes this Jesus girl want to dance in joy. Thank you for sharing this, Stephanie!
AMEN, Stephanie! I know that there are so many of us thinking the exact same thing. Praise God for obedient hearts. Suzie has no idea of the impact she has already made on my life, and I’m only in Chapter One!! God is going to use this to heal us. We WILL have “Mended Hearts.”
Amen!!! Thank you Suzie and Jessica! What a blessing your encouragement is. I am so glad I decided to join this study. Its healing to talk like this with others who are healing too. God bless!
Confession, I sent the tweet to promote your new study, but I have not signed up. I did your study on forgiveness and want to promote your new study so others can be blessed. I receive your email updates and am very blessed. Thank you for your ministry. I got overwhelmed with so many inspirational emails and such that I had to cut back and am studying Ephesians on my own at this time. But I STILL get your updates and am blessed!
You did sign up. You just didn’t know it. : ) I wanted to make it easy. If you are subscribed to the blog, you get it in your in box every day. Whether you have time to jump in or not, that’s okay. <3
Today as I reread Chapter 1 and you said to focus on pages 31 and 32, I had a wow written by “One of the key truths we often ignore in our faith is that Jesus meets us where we are.” He met the woman who had the issue with blood from her touching his robe. Recently I went through a difficult time at my job, had accepted a position to be closer to home, with the same company. It did not go well. But God protected me and I was able to return to my previous job. Father God, I pray for us as we study and as you mend our hearts. Suzanne, I needed this study. Looking forward to the days to come. Blessings Diana
Brokenness can result from discouragement and unmet expectations. O how this applies to my life. In July, we will be living with my mother in law for two years. Much of this time, I have not looked at this as a blessing but a time of being in prison. Brokenness has many faces. My sphere of friends have decreased and I recently trusted a friend with some of my brokenness and now we are no longer friends. In your book, you can never be so broken that He can’t put the pieces back together. Does He give you new dreams? I am still living with a broken person, how does that figure in the scheme of things. Chronic pain rocks my world. Today I trust you Lord with my broken places and you alone can heal. Blessings. Diana
I don’t have all the answers, and I won’t claim to. But I do know what it feels like to feel imprisoned, and to deal with chronic pain. I think, I KNOW that we are in the right place. God brought each one of us here by unique paths, but we are all seeking the same thing… His healing, His peace, His love. Is it okay if I pray for you? I know that what Suzie says is true. Jesus WILL meet you where you are. Hold tightly to that. He loves us, & is searching for us. We just have to stay put and be found. ♥
Your sister in Jesus,
Thank you Jessica. I would treasure your prayers. Your words of encouragement mean so much. Blessings Diana
There is no woman, no person, so broken that God cannot heal. I believe that firmly!
I’m running from the pain and the future pain in my marriage. Running from also facing my sins of jealousy and selfishness that only intensify the pain in my marriage. So thankful for the reassurance that Jesus knows us, yet loves us fully, and meets us where we are broken and hurting. That Jesus offer the peace and deliverance I long for. Thank you Jesus that you offer to lead me to “live freely and lightly.”
In his light and grace,
Lord, today I stand with Jane in prayer. Lord, will you begin a work in Jane. You care about her. You see her heart’s desire to heal, and to learn new ways of communicating and relating, but through You and Your healing touch in her life. You also care about her marriage. As Jane allows you to work in her heart, may that fruit show up in her relationships that matter so much to her. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Thank you! To His glory!
Thank u Susie for getting back to me so fast…Im looking forward to ur study. Im going to reread the intro and ch 1. I too want to stop running from my past….I want to let it go and give it to God so he can heal me from my hurt and pain to restoration. 😉 Someone mentioned ur study/book on Forgiveness…can u tell me about it? I need to forgive my X husband to also move forward and have peace gor myself. 😉 God is good and He is powerful n He is my Strength!!!
Thank you, Lord, for Jackie. She is putting the brakes on. No more detours. No more running. She’s opening her heart and her life and her past to you with nothing held back. You may have it all. Thank you Lord for a new direction, and new joy. It won’t be easy, Lord, but it will be healing and liberating.
Jackie, my book, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness, is a powerful tool (and also a gentle one) that helps you discover the power of forgiving, and leads you step by step to practice it. This is a link to the first chapter that you can read free: https://www.tsuzanneeller.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/unburdened-heart-sample.pdf
I am so incredibly broken. I am so tired of running. I need your prayers. I am so thankful for God’s grace.
Lord Jesus, I lift up Vicki to you and ask you to move deep in her heart. Let her feel the real desire you have for her and how you want to heal that brokenness and you want her to live free in You. Thank you Jesus for your peace and rest tonight. Let us keep our minds fixed on these things so all the running stops.
In Jesus name, Amen
please keep me in prayer, as I try to stop running from my mistakes and run toward Jesus. I seem to keep going to him with the same thing over and over again. I feel stuck and haven’t been able to move forward. I would also like prayer for my daughter who is going through a divorce and is so stressed out my heart breaks for her. I have placed her in Gods hand and trust him totally. I pray that the court will make a fair decision and my daughter will be able to move forward with her life, but more than anything I pray that she would return to the Lord and find rest and peace in Him, that she would seek Him for guidance, comfort, wisdom, love. Thank you Suzie and anyone who reads this post for keeping us in your prayers. I too will pray for all of you and your circumstances.
Sometimes I feel like Jonah – and have tried to run from God’s calling. But I’ve found that when I stick around, regardless of how difficult the circumstances, God shows me a new area in which to grow. He shows me He’s developing leadership skills in me.
I’ve been at my current church for four years. The Holy Spirit gives staying power. Here I learn the meaning of true family. When we hurt one another (without intending to), we forgive one another. We grow. Today I’m purposing to run TOWARD God in the middle of conflict. Here He will most certainly release the truth of “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)
I love that verse in the Message- learn the unforced rhythms of grace…I love this. I think I have been running in my walk with the Lord by trying to busy myself with lots of Bible studies, Scripture memory work, Bible reading, reading books etc.. Not that these are bad things in themselves, but I just feel like if I do the right things, then God will be happy with me and love me. I just have such a hard time letting it soak in that He loves me and meets me where I am. I run in different ways, but those are some examples. I loved what you wrote on page 32 about how the more we understand His mission statement is for us personally “…the more you are free to simply sit in His presence, expectant that the person you always knew lived inside you will emerge with His touch.” Wow moment for me in reading this. Personalizing Luke 4:18 was also very powerful for me.
Love your prayer, Suzie. I’ve been running by pretending I have it all together, and also after “false gods” with food, social media, etc. Inspired by your suggested verse Matthew 11:28-30 my prayer is “Lord, here I am again, tired. Tired of running from you and towards other things that cannot fill me like you can. I want to walk with you instead and learn to live free with a mended heart. Amen”.