Saturday, June 30, 2001

Matthew 11:28-30 – 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. (MSG)

Pepper came to us at the age of 16 weeks from the local pound. He was due to be euthanized the afternoon of the day my husband asked me (in the morning) to see about locating a watchdog for our mountain property.

As it turned out, Pepper was a good watchdog. He watched everybody and everything with insatiable curiosity and joy. Wagging his tail constantly, I am certain he would have even been most happy to watch any thief walk off with any valuables we owned at the time!

Pepper lived with us for 11 years and in all that time nothing ever seemed to get him down, or, if it did, it wasn't for long. Even in the midst of trying situations, changes and upheavals, he simply moved with the flow, enjoying the journey.

Likewise, in our Christian walk, Jesus wants us to enjoy our journey amidst all the trying situations, changes and upheavals that lead us step by step toward Christ-like maturity. Jesus calls to us and exhorts us to "come to Me … I will show you how to take a real rest, how to learn the unforced rhythms of grace." He promises that He "won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting" on us and that we can "learn to live freely and lightly" when we keep company with Him.

Today I feel the task God has called me to is heavy and ill-fitting. I am tired and worn out. I need to make a change. I need to take time to keep company with Jesus by going away quietly — closing the door, turning off the phone, laying aside the things of this world that are pressing too close — and simply to enjoy being with Him, to be reminded once again that He is able amid all my tasks. His grace is sufficient for me and the unforced rhythms of that grace are mine for the learning.

How about you? Need to recover your life today? Jesus is waiting!

Prayer: Lord God and gracious Father, thank you that Jesus always says, "Come to me," and we will recover our lives and learn to live freely and lightly. Help each of us today to not only remember this truth, but to put it into practice amidst the busyness of our schedules. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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