“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
The sign said it all. “Day old donuts…half price.” In those five words there are two things I really like. First, donuts. Donuts and I go way back. In fact, food and I go way back. I’m a southern boy and there’s just something about food that puts a smile on my face. Donuts, well, they make me smile big. The other thing that I really like is “half price.” I love a good deal. I remember one time I was at a store and it was after Christmas. They had a gift set that had a razor, some shaving cream and a few extra blades. They were marked down from $6.99 to .79 cents. I bought all they had—about twenty of them. Too bad I used an electric razor. But it was such a good deal.
So we have half-price donuts. Now we have a problem. “Day old.” Because donuts don’t have any preservatives they go stale very quickly. On day one a donut becomes not as fluffy—a little chewy. By day two it becomes like a dried out kitchen sponge. By day three you have yourself an oversized hockey puck. What is a donut lover who loves good deals to do? One word. Microwave.
The microwave is an amazing invention…especially when it comes to donuts. You see the microwave cooks from the inside out. So when you put a day old donut in there it begins warming from the inside and any moisture turns to steam and the steam moisturizes the bread. Let me tell you that dude will fluff right up.
I mean this is amazing. You can even throw a three day old donut in there and depending how hungry you are, pretty much make it edible. I know because sometimes I wander through the church on Thursday and discover some leftovers from Sunday. Yup. Just chuck those things in the microwave and you’ve got yourself a semi-fresh donut. By the way, do not tell my wife Judy I’ve done this.
I wonder if David the shepherd had day old donuts and microwaves in mind when he wrote Psalm 23:3. There we find, “He restores my soul.” That’s just what the microwave does for the donut. It warms it from the inside, moistening the dry, stale, bread making it soft and pliable again. In David’s way of thinking it wasn’t a microwave, it was green pastures and still waters. If you could see it from a sheep’s perspective it would make perfect sense.
Imagine a sheep, hot, tired and hungry and the shepherd brings them to a lush green pasture and he eats his fill. Then he waddles over to a crystal-clear brook, barely moving, and drinks till he can’t hold anymore. That’s what David meant when He said God restored his soul. A lot of folks wouldn’t take a chance on a day old donut. A lot of folks would count it only worth giving to the dog or tossing in the trash. They don’t understand the wonder of the microwave. Do you know what? Sadly, people do people that way too.
Someone gets beat up by the world, worked over by doubt, fear and frustration and they get a little stale. Some folks wouldn’t bother with them. Some folks would avoid them. But not God. He sees the broken, weary people around us and the garbage can is the furtherest from His mind. Just like the microwave can work magic on a donut so God can work miracles in the lives of the most broken of people. And like the microwave—He does it from the inside out. Remember when Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus does what nothing else, no one else, can do. He can rescue, redeem, and make the broken whole and life fresh again.
So, let me suggest before you walk by the day old donuts at the market give them a try. You might discover a tasty treat and a good deal. And, before you walk by your neighbor or a stranger and you can tell they’ve been worked over by the world and circumstances, just remember what Jesus did for you. Remember how He didn’t just see you how you were, He saw how you could be. Just a moment in time and He plumped you up with His amazing grace and kindness. Maybe you are the one who feels pretty stale about now. Maybe your heart is as hard as a week old donut. Well, don’t crawl in a microwave but do crawl up in the lap of Jesus. Let Him restore your soul. Stay awhile. Rest in Him. He’s got this.