A Gift Of Rest

January 10, 2014
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Listen while you read: "Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise"1 (Lyrics)

Inspiration comes at all hours of the day or night, from many different triggers. I went to bed and read a book which featured the verse on which this devotional thought is based. After finishing the book and turning out the light, I found these thoughts running through my mind, and got up and wrote them down.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are wearied and burdened, and I will give you rest. (NIV)

Rest sounds wonderful, doesn't it? No one likes being wearied and burdened, but we are — burdened with worry, burdened with guilt, burdened with illness, burdened with responsibility. We all know about being burdened, and burdens are like packages — big packages that are often more than we can handle — packages that trying to carry makes us weary, tired, and lacking energy. We all know what that is like: being too tired to make a meal, to go to a meeting, or to go out to visit someone. It seems to me that the longer I live, the more there is to do. You'd think that it should be possible to cross things off a list and not have something else move in to take its place!

But there are so many of us who like our feelings of weariness and being burdened — aren't there? They can be an excuse to hibernate, or to stop working with a group, or to quit a committee. "No, I don't think that I will go out today; they can get along without me."

You know, it is so easy to concentrate on the description of the first "you" in today's passage, and to forget Jesus' "me" and "I". But in this passage, which is addressed to all of us, Christ is speaking to each one of us directly: "Come to me and I will give …"

Action is needed on our part: we can be weary, and we can be burdened, but that is not to stop us from making the first move: to come to Him. And if we do, what do we get? We get the gift of rest. Do we … do you … do I … have enough trust that we will go to the One Who spoke these words and accept His gift? Or do we go to Christ, take His gift, and keep right on being weary and burdened, because we don't want to leave it all up to Him? I pray that you do better than I when it comes to accepting God's gift of rest.

Prayer: We come, Lord, with our weariness and burdens. Help us to leave them with You and to accept the gift You offer: rest. Help us to relax and enjoy our lives and not be off in our minds at the next item on our agenda. Thank You for time spent with friends. Thank You for that gift of rest. Amen.

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About the author:

Ruth Burkholder <ruth.burk@sympatico.ca>
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very nice. Thank you.


    Wonderful challenge Ruth.


    Well done, Ruth. Please write again.


    Happy New Year Ruth, and many Thanks for your devotional.


    Wonderful, Ruth. I’m sure many will identify with your message. Good reminder.


    Wonderful, meaningful suggestions. May we all let go and let God. So easy to say, not so easy to do.


    That was a particularly beautiful devotional, Ruth. We too often miss the opportunity to “unburden” ourselves. Thank you for reminding me.


    Hi Ruth,
    I liked your devotion and its call to rest. Also liked your writing style. Hope all is well with you and your family. Blessings.


    Wow. I sure identified with your devotional. I am stuck right now and need encouragement to get myself going again. I must Let go and let God. Thank you for the reminder.


    Lovely Ruth!
    After a night of not good rest … this was a good reminder devotional for me.
    God bless you. Happy New Year.


    Dear Ruth;
    Thank you for your devotional this morning. I know what you are talking about when it comes to inspiration and the most unusual times it does come. Amen to your prayer. May God continue to inspire you as you write for him.


    Dear Ruth,
    You say, “I pray that you do better than I when it comes to accepting God’s gift of rest.” I pray that both of us do very well with “Rest in the Lord; also with “Rejoice in the Lord.”
    Prayer: We come, Lord, with our weariness and burdens. Help us to leave them with You and to accept the gift You offer: rest. Help us to relax and enjoy our lives ….
    Keep resting and writing.


    Dear Ruth, I am 72 years old. My mother passed many years ago when she was 72. I very much feel as a grandma of those which are living nearby and the only ones I get to visit for more than 5 minutes at a time. Being a grandparent allow time to rest in between short visits. I can rest in knowing if I can’t visit God loves them greater than I and He always has time to share His love.


    Thanks for writing this devotion – it has inspired me and motivated me to go somewhere today when I was feeling too weary and tired and was planning to just stay home. Hope you’ll be writing more. Blessings,


    Dear Ruth,
    Bless you.
    Amen.
    Keep writing.


    How great to see your name as author of today’s devotional – just what I needed to hear!
    Thanks for this devotional.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful, restful 2014!
    (BC)


    Hi Ruth, thank you for your wonderful devotion today.
    God Bless.


    Our Lord be praised for ever. The thoughts that you were given were very refreshing to me. The words of Jesus will and do renew the body, soul and spirit of His own.
    (USA)


    Hello Ruth
    Your devotional really ministered to me as my life is sooo busy!
    I am caring for my senior parents who live nearby. So – your words really spoke to me that it’s not JUST for the desperate times but also for the busy-ness our lives can be. Instead of thinking of my day as the old program, “Beat The Clock”, I need to give it to the Lord instead and rest in Him. Great advice Ruth!
    God bless you Ruth!


    Dear Ruth,
    I pray that I will accept God’s gift of physical rest — and that earlier than I make it to bed some nights!
    I pray too that I’ll accept God’s gift of rest for my soul — from burdens like concerns that he is carrying for me so I need not be concerned unduly.
    Thank you for the devotional.

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