I’m a little claustrophobic, so I hate being in places where there’s not enough room—like airplane seats, going to your kid’s school and having to sit in a child-sized chair for parent/teacher conference, restaurants where tables are packed in too tightly, and clothes that are too small because, well, maybe I’ve had too many desserts lately.
This has even been used as a method of torture in prisons. Making people stand in a box that nails have been driven into from every direction. So every time they begin to fall asleep or slump, nails jab into their skin. Or putting them in a slot that’s just big enough to lie down in, but not tall enough to sit or adjust their position in any way.
I also like to be warm and cozy, so standing outside in the cold is, to me, a form of torture. And have you ever tried to snuggle up in a blanket that was too small to cover you completely? Every time you turn over your feet or back hit the cold air and you wake up.
These are the things I think about when I read: “The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you” (Isaiah 28:20). What is Isaiah getting at here? He’s talking about what life is like when we try to get comfortable outside of a relationship with God.
I don’t mean religion. That’s a cold, hard bed with a very narrow blanket in itself. Turn from the list of man made rules and you’ll end up on the floor and out of favor. No, I’m talking about being a believer in, and lover of Jesus Christ, and following His lead. Walking and talking with Him, and trusting His plan.
That habit, that relationship, that job, that diploma, that sports car—they don’t satisfy for long. You’ll end up feeling cramped and desperate to break free of the confines around you. It won’t keep you warm enough to ignite your stone cold heart. I know. I’ve lived with God and without God, and baby, it’s cold out there without Him. But there is warmth, comfort, security, and joy in the presence of Christ.
If you can’t get a good night of sleep, because of guilt, worry, loneliness, an aching need to be loved and accepted, you know what it feels like out in the cold. Tossing and turning on a space too small to ever get rest. Jesus said, “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” (Matt. 11:28-30, Message).
If you haven’t tried Jesus, what do you have to lose? In Him is freedom. In Him we rest and are warmed by His faithful love.
#roomtostretchout #bedtooshort #blanketoonarrow #satisfactioninJesus #Isaiah28:20 #Matt11:28