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Rest In Me
by Maria Franco
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“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

What is it that revives us, rejuvenates us when we are down? That breath of fresh air that can make us feel so light, that eases the stress and lifts our spirits. When I return home after a tiring day at work, it is a hot cup of spiced tea which revives me to some extent. I carefully carry these packets of tea back with me all the way from my home country; the aroma to cheer my heart and to preserve the taste of home as well.

But what fully rejuvenates me is the daily mass that I attend each evening and the Eucharist I receive. The Physician working in me and healing me ever so gently. I can feel the joy of the Lord at my presence, specially with the choir singing, “This is your house, your home, we welcome you, Lord, we welcome you.” And we can safely presume that the welcome is both ways. Mutual admiration society! The mass refreshes us, it removes all our weariness and is the secret for longevity of life. If only the value of daily mass was understood. We welcome the Lord in our midst as He welcomes us into His Holy temple.

There are other significant things which rejuvenate us as well, receiving and giving love, a daily revival of hearts. A once in a lifetime day where we live rare moments of complete joy, We wish we could make such moments a part of our every day life, yet the memories of such moments revive us on any given day. It is said that when we close our eyes, we always see the face of the person whom we love the most. There is a beautiful saying that when we are happy, we enjoy the music of the song but when we are sad, we understand the lyrics. I am always deeply moved by the lyrics of any given song, specially those with words that stir at the core of my heart.

We can also refresh ourselves on the basis of how we think. I can close my eyes and imagine the cool rains and pleasant weather being experienced right now in my home country even though I am being subjected to the sweltering heat and humidity every day the moment I step out in the place where I am right now.
It always amazes me how in life we are expected to comfort others when we are the ones in need of being comforted. Though we reach out to others on important events, we are sadly forgotten on days when we need others to reach out to us. The Lord always said that it is in comforting that we are comforted. Besides, Jesus consoled the women of Jerusalem at a time when He was in the throes of His own agony and passion.

There are days when we feel we are super human and can tackle a multitude of tasks at the same time and then again on other days we feel that we have no stamina left and are yet expected to perform the same tasks as on days when we are fit. We literally have the sword of Damocles hanging over our head and we are inclined to believe that in this world there is no rest at all. We can only find this in the life beyond, plenty of it in fact. A friend once reminded me of the phrase; “Do your best and God will do the rest.” To which I replied that after I have done my best, I happen to need all the rest. After all, as the saying goes; what cannot be cured must be endured.
It is also incredulous how a medical certificate in our favor is used by all our relatives near and far across the globe to complete their own agenda without our being involved in it at all. We never get a chance to use it for our own necessity whereas others use our certificate gallantly long after the expiry date on it. Our name and their game!

Three days ago, a dear friend of mine, in fact the lady responsible for my entrance into the world of spiritual preaching, called me up to wish me on my birthday and she was an angel sent in disguise by the Lord to provide me with the remedy for a breathing problem that I had been battling for the past two weeks with no success. She advised me to open the bible to Genesis 2:7 and place my hand on the verse where God breathed His own breath into Adam and to claim this breath for my own. That very day, I began asking the Lord to give me the breath of life, His own very breath as when He lived on this earth. It was a miracle that on the very day that the Lord had brought me into this world, He gave me a fresh breath of life and my difficulty eased.

But truly, said, it is only in the Lord that we can find our rest and who helps us complete our work. He keeps our smile in place even on turbulent days. It is only due to His grace that we are still standing in spite of having walked on the rocky path, it is He who has helped us make it so far and will continue to walk with us and help us to make it in the days and years to come. After all, those who persevere until the end will be saved. And after we have run the race to the full, He will reward us with the crown of righteousness.

Perhaps when we are sad and dejected, we can recall the words of St. Paul to be joyful in every circumstance giving thanks to God for this is what He has willed for us. This will help us to revive our hopes and escalate our faith to a presumptive joy. We can thus be happy even on days of pain and if we are sad even on joyful days, He will turn the rain into sunshine.

Maria Franco

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