Have you ever felt like a restless wanderer making your way through this earthly existence? From a Biblical context, this term is synonymous with Cain, and was used by God to describe Cain after he murdered Abel.
The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:10-12)
Cain’s life was characterized by a half-hearted devotion to God, which paved the way for lack of brotherly love, deceit, violence and murder. God’s law has been designed in such a way that sin leads him to his spiritual death.
But sin is also like poison to the earth-it obliterates the productivity of the creation around him. No longer can man find the harmony that should characterize an ideal life for man on this earth. Much like an animal that can find no favorable habitat and so keeps hopping from one site to another, man becomes a wanderer because no place on earth appears to accommodate and welcome him. He thinks that the habitat is to blame but fails to comprehend that it is his sin that makes his habitat unwelcoming. The Bible makes a direct connection in the above verses between the sin of Cain and the lack of productivity of the land he would work on because in a way the land was ‘polluted’ by the blood spilled.
Constant wandering and the inability to lead a productive life bring about a deep sense of dissatisfaction and restlessness. And so man comes up with many a solution- he changes jobs, spouses and houses; goes on vacations to escape from the hell he constantly endures and develops hobbies and addictions. Once the transient excitement of the change or the ecstasy of the addiction passes, he reverts back to his restlessness—-till he finally realizes that only when he ceases to be a restless wanderer within that he externally stops being a restless wanderer.
It is here that Jesus’ words become meaningful,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28,29)
No other invitation is more appropriate, powerful and convincing than these words of Jesus, that draw a restless wanderer from both his restlessness and his wandering to a life of restful purpose in Christ.
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