The Sleigh

February 29, 2020
by   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

I try to get my little granddaughters out for a walk every day. The fresh air is good for all of us. It is also a great time to exercise my dogs. In the winter, however, it is quite difficult, as the paths are covered with snow, which is often deep enough to make pulling the sleigh a task that is getting beyond me physically, when it is loaded down with 50 to 60 pounds of little girls in winter attire.

A friend, who often walks with me, started to get after me about training my largest dog, Denver, to pull the sleigh for me. At first, I had a number of excuses for not doing this. It meant extra work to train him. Would it actually work? Was it safe? Was it fair that he would have to work while the other dogs ran freely? Still, my friend kept after me. So one day, I decided to try hitching Denver up to the sleigh in our driveway, and I got him to pull it up the hill to the house. My two-year-old granddaughter shrieked with joy as he did so, and Denver actually seemed to really enjoy the job.

After practicing a number of times over several days with him, I attempted our first walk with the loaded sleigh along the paths. Denver excelled with ease at his task and didn't seem to mind at all that he had to work while the others ran freely. He actually acted like he was very proud to be doing this job and helping out.

This little lesson of learning to lay down my sleigh-pulling burden and allowing Denver to pick it up for me, reminded me of the promise that Jesus gave to us:

Matthew 11:28-30 – 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)

For many years, I wearied myself by seeking to carry my own burdens instead of allowing God to carry them for me — burdens such as guilt, failure, insecurity, worry, anxiety, loneliness, fear, and the like. And why did I do so? A lack of faith was definitely one reason: I worried whether God cared enough to help me; I wondered if I could trust Him to do the job properly. Another reason was a lack of discipline to train my thoughts to think of God first amidst any and all problems that arose and then either to place them in His hands and leave them there, or else to pray and listen for His guidance and then to obey it. Lastly, I needed to learn humility: I needed to understand that I didn't have to do everything myself, that I could trust Someone else to carry or to help me carry any and every burden that came my way. What a relief it has been over the years since I learned these lessons to let go and to trust the Lord with my burdens, for indeed, I did find rest for my soul.

How about you? Are you still trying to carry your own burdens, or have you, too, learned to let God do the job? If so, wonderful! If not, what are you waiting for? Go to Him, you who are weary and burdened, and He will indeed give you rest for your soul.

Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that we can come to You at any time in any place and cast our care upon You, and willingly, You will pick it up and provide rest for our souls as we trust in Your faithfulness to care for us and our burdens. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.


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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Thank you, Lynne.


    A great reminder to watch for those soft nudges.


    Thank you, Lynne, for another very meaningful message. Keep on inspiring us.


    Thanks, Lynne. It’s a hard lesson to learn and one that requires periodic relearning!


    Such an important lesson for all of us, Lynne. Thanks for the reminder. May God bless you and your family!


    Thank you for sharing your gifts with us through these devotionals. I always enjoy reading you. May God continue to bless you in this ministry!


    Amazingly wonderful to repeat “let go, let God”. The peace and calm that comes with this message is truly from God. Thank you,
    (Tx)


    Your meaningful messages, Lynne, always touch upon the big issues and smaller details of our everyday life. Learning to LET GO and LET GOD is not easy and I thank you this morning for your message of reassurance. Blessings.


    Thank you, Lynne, for sharing this devotional with us. Could see your dog in my mind with a big doggy grin on his face as he pulled that sled. Yes, may we always rely upon God to pull us along the drifted pathways of life. Blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    I pray for worship, safety, and enjoyment with the children and the dog sleigh. And the adults.
    For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
    Thanks for writing.
    May God keep you at it.


    Read this with joy, delight and pure happiness, Lynne. Your words fall on my ears with music and peace. The granddaughters, Denver, the perfect metaphor, that will occur to me now whenever I think of these often-sung bits of scripture. God’s inspiration continually makes you a blessing whenever you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Grateful.


    Good morning Lynne,
    Many thanks for writing another special and very meaningful devotional. What a joyful time for you and your grandchildren to spend together and a good exercise time for your dog. Your reference to the verse in Matthew 11 is perfect for reminding us to “let go, and let God”, for His yoke is definitely light.
    Blessings for your descriptive and encouraging writings.


    Hello Lynne,
    I have a middle aged developmentally disabled son who has and lives in a wonderful group home. The staff at his home are always reminding me that I do not have to do everything myself – they are paid to look after him! Over the years, I have learned many times to let go and let God work things out for my son and me. Your devotion today is a reminder to me that God has provided the support we both need with His choosing of staff at my son’s group home. They are very dedicated and loving, and I am very grateful to God for his provision.
    Thank you for the “sleigh ride”.
    With blessings on you,
    (ON)


    Good morning Lynne. Thank you so very much for this devotional. It so resonates with me.
    For years I felt the same way as you. It wasn’t till my kidneys failed that I really surrendered to God. I always tried to control things myself. I was stubborn and always did it my way.
    Following my kidney transplant, I went into a very deep depression from the anti-rejection drugs. I wanted to die but was able to keep telling myself “God did not give me a kidney to die”. At that point I surrendered to God and my life has been so much easier since then. I gave up the steering wheel and have left it completely in his hands. The peace of mind and serenity has been beyond incredible. I am just sorry that I was so stubborn that I had to wait till the age of 60 to hand over the reins.
    God bless you for sharing this incredible testimonial. I hope thousands read it carefully and let it sink it. It could save them years of anxiety.
    Many thanks.


    Your devotional was encouraging for me. I needed to be reminded that God is present with us to give us strength and help in our daily walk with Him. Thank you


    A good afternoon to you.
    I can picture you and your little grandchildren being pulled in your sleigh by a dog. Then, as you faithfully do is spiritualize it. What a gift you have and very much need to use some of situations over my 95 years that I love to share. God bless you.


    How very beautiful Lynne. As soon as I read two little granddaughters, I knew you had written this devotional.
    I have not lost sight of wanting to tell you a little of what God is doing in my heart.
    I was thinking Denver was given meaningful work. A most important task… you gave him your two little granddaughters to keep safe in the sleigh… and he of all your dogs was the one chosen. He might be the biggest but to him he may think you knew he could do the job the best. You trusted Denver! God certainly spoke through your friend didn’t He and He did not give us. He worked on you, Lynne, and God ALWAYS succeeds at what He wants to do. He might change his plan some, especially if someone does not pay attention to what He wants… but He gets His will done. God was delighted Lynne that you trusted Him and His plan.
    I always so enjoy your devotionals too.


    Hello, Lynne, and thank you again for your encouragement in trusting to our Lord for guidance and help in our ongoing journey of life. As this journey seems more challenging in these eighties, I certainly appreciate the helpful wisdom of my family and other members of our Christian community nearby.
    May God continue to bless you in your devotions and family life.
    Grace and peace.

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