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What kind of pillow do you like on your bed? Most people have some sort of foam pillow these days, but some people still love feather pillows. I’ve even heard of buckwheat husk pillows, I understand they are very heavy. Some people like hard pillows, some like them soft, some, like me, can’t make up their minds and have several pillows on the bed.
But all those pillows serve the same function; we want the same things from them. We want them soft enough to cradle our heads, but we want them firm enough to prevent neck and backaches. And, since we are all a little different, taller, shorter, thinner, heavier, some of us are back sleepers, some are side sleepers, we all need something a little different in a pillow. I guess you could say that we all want a pillow that fits our needs. Strong enough to support, soft enough to comfort.
I remember a story about Jesus. A woman was brought to him, caught in the very act of adultery. She was thrown at his feet and he was asked to pronounce judgment on her. Instead of condemning her, with the perfect amount of strength and compassion he told her accusers, “Whoever is without sin, you cast the first stone!” The crowd of accusers melted away until only Jesus and the fallen woman remained. Jesus, seeing that no one was willing to condemn her, lifted her up and said, “Neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11 NIV). There again, that perfect blend of caring and strength. Jesus loved her enough to lift her up and give her hope, but he was also strong enough to say, “Go and sin no more.”
And we are not so different from that woman. She was caught in the act of disobeying God, but haven’t we all disobeyed God? Disregarded his word? Been selfish? Been greedy? Before God we are all guilty! But in grace, he reaches out to us and says, “Trust me, now go and sin no more.” Jesus is caring enough, compassionate enough to reach out and lift us up. He was also tough enough, strong enough, to take upon himself the penalty for all our offenses. This is why he went to the cross, to pay the price that was too much for us.
Tonight as you lay your head down on your pillow, I hope you remember the comfort and support that only Jesus can give. Heartaches and sorrows can steal our sleep, but Jesus can help us bear those burdens. Our own misdeeds may come to haunt us in the night; Jesus is ready to forgive if we’ll only trust him.
Turn to him each night, and find true rest, true comfort in him.