Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Fountain"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (ESV)
One of my daily tasks is to empty out the washing machine. I wipe around the flexible rubber seal that connects the washing machine drum and door. During the wash cycle, grease and crud sticks to the rubber over the course of a family's washing week, as well as the odd coin. If left untreated, the scum starts to accumulate, giving off an unpleasant aroma, developing mould, and even penetrating the rubber below the surface.
As I emptied the washing machine, the scum that I was removing reminded me of those situations of worldly abomination to which we can be exposed. For example, I had just received a text request from a friend who sought my prayers. He is involved with helping children in society. He was emotionally distraught by the rawness of the task that he has chosen to serve God through his role of working for the local county council. Apart from upholding him in my prayers, I suggested that he should remember to put on the armour of God before he stepped out into the world at the beginning of the day.
In such circumstances of degradation, Jesus is happy for us to cry out to Him to be with us through them. Even in a crowded room, we can call out to Jesus within our inner self. He will deliver us from all the coated scum or show us another way.
Jesus came to show us a way to be purified from the world and ultimately from evil's intent to separate us from the love of God. Whether or not the task is of our choosing, we do not have to carry on our own the burden of scum from being in the world. His love for us is the guide that challenges us to walk with Him through the day. Sometimes, we might forget that.
Being in the world is not an easy calling. I found that tending to others, day in, day out, will lead to burnout unless we make the time for ourselves to abide in the presence of Jesus. Jesus incarnate set His example of spending time aside, to be alone with God, to pray and wait to seek His Father's will.
No longer do I have the capacity to carry the load without Jesus these days. Possibly, I have learnt something, or maybe, I am more in need than before, because I am less able in body, mind, and spirit. For me, keeping in Jesus is a gift from God, one that I try to pass on to those who will also make the time for it. Perhaps you, too, are unable to carry your load and need to ask Jesus for help carrying it and to abide in Him throughout your day.
John 15:4 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (ESV)
Prayer: Lord, today, come and abide in us. Fill us up with Your holy faith, hope, and love. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.