If you think about it for a second, we go to the dentist just to open our mouth. For the dentist to do anything for us, we have to open up. After all, what can they do for us if we don't? I know that it sounds too simple, but then again it's me.
You can show up on time. You can smile and walk back to the room. You can sit down in that chair. You can let them put that bib around your neck. They can recline that chair all the way back and adjust the light all they want. But if we don't open our mouth, it's going to be a very short visit.
Nothing really important gets done until we separate our jaws and let them look in. Then they start putting all sorts of things inside our mouth. Little mirrors on metal sticks. Probes and picks. They also use a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around the gum line, as well as in between teeth. And then there's the drills.
I don't know about you, but I want to be as helpful and cooperative as I can to anyone who's got sharp tools and a drill in my mouth. So, when they ask me to open my mouth, I do it with all the gusto I can. I really try to open my mouth as wide as possible. After all, if I can make their job a little bit easier, it will be easier on me too.
When it comes to bringing hope into our life, there's a first step that's very close to opening our mouth for the dentist. To open ourselves to receiving hope, we have to admit that we're in need. This is exactly what Jesus says.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
If we want hope, we need to take the first step. God's not going to knock us over the head to make us take his hope. It just like opening our mouth at the dentist. They're not going to pry our mouth open. They'll wait till we're ready. And so does God. According to Jesus, there are two steps that we've got to do.
Step one - Come. That means we leave where we are and move towards him. When we come, we have to leave where we are. We can't just stand still and wait for hope to come to us. No, we have to go after him to receive it.
Step two - Need. We have to do the very unmodern thing by admitting that we can't handle life all by ourselves. It takes courage and vulnerability to say that we can't provide for ourselves. That we need help. That we need hope.
When we do these two simple things, Jesus promises that he will give us rest. But the promise is that his rest will come sometime. Sometime in the future. There's no guarantee about the when his rest will come. No timetable or schedule for his rest to arrive.
And there's the rub. We want instant rest. Right here. Right now. We want his rest fo fall down on us like turning on a shower. We control when the water comes down. The temperature. How hard it hits our skin. And we want to control everything about God's rest too.
Our job is to ask God for help and hope. Admitting our need. And then our next step is to wait patiently. Wait with an open heart. Wait patiently for him to come.
And just so you know - he's never late.
Are we open to his hope? Are we open to his timing?