Resting Devotion 1: His Gift

This is the first in a devotion series on the theme of resting, originally written for the Bible Society Australia. Join us over the next 14 weeks as we visit texts that remind us of God’s character – that He is a God who loves and reaches out and offers grace and words of life.  As we rest in the truths of who he is, what he has done, what he promises to continue to provide, and the certainty of our hope, we will find rest and strength for our souls.

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.

Matthew 11:28-30

It’s early in a new year and already I am weary.  Summers in Australia are hot, and where I live, humid.  But it’s not the humidity that’s wearing me down.  It’s continuing to live with Covid, an experience that has changed the shape of our lives in ways we could never have imagined.

I’m tired of living with discombobulation and uncertainty.  I had thought 2022 would be different.  We have a vaccine that offers protection and rapid antigen tests that let us know quickly if we are infected.  But as well as Covid, the normal stuff of life continues.  Dear friends receive a diagnosis of cancer; a precious family member dies; we welcome a new granddaughter into our family. There are new jobs and family relocations.  Events sad and joyful that seem that much more complicated during what seems to be an ever-present virus. It wears me out.

I find these words spoken by Jesus calming and soothing. Our Saviour is with us in this perplexing time. What I love about Jesus’ words here is the glimpse he gives us of his heart – he is gentle and humble. When we’re tired and troubled, Jesus meets us with gentleness. And notice these words: ‘I will give you’. Rest is His gift to us. As we come to him, his eyes see us, his ears hear our cries, and he offers us rest – rest for our souls.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you are a Saviour who is gentle and humble in heart. You have not left us to face life on our own. Please lift the burdens we carry this day. Carry them on your shoulders that never give way. Remind us afresh that you love us enough to lay down your life for us. May these truths be balm for our weary souls to renew and refresh us. Amen.

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