February 1 I Wednesday

Exodus 27-28

Matthew 21:1-22



“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened…”     —Matthew 11:28


The opening verse of this devotion is an invitation from Jesus to come to Him. It is interesting when we study the original Greek and how this sentence is structured. The literal translation of the verse is, “Come to Me, those who have over-burdened themselves.” In other words, He is calling those who are wearied by their own choices. 

       Many of us can relate to being weary of life in a broken world and burdened by the worries of life. After a few years of pandemic life, global conflicts, refugee crisis and political strife, we can grow tired of the realities of life. We have all developed our own pathologies to try and escape the painful reminder of everyday life and the difficulty of it. Some binge watched, others ate their emotions and others gave themselves into addictions. Jesus’s invitation is to call all of us out of hurting ourselves. His promise to those who go to Him is that they will find rest.

       But even good things can become burdens to us. A pastor shared a story about a time in his church when they did a capital campaign. They were trying to raise money to expand their footprint in the region and plant more churches. On the Saturday before Giving Sunday, he was feeling the strain and the burden. At that moment, while he was wrestling with God, his seven-year old daughter came jaunting into the room. She was all smiles and happy saying, “Hi Daddy!” The pastor responded, “I don’t have time for you right now. I’m feeling really stressed. Daddy’s got to pray. Can you just leave me alone?” She looked at him with this origami contraption in her hand, where one would say a number and the kid would count it out and move the origami paper. The daughter goes, “Say a number, daddy.” He replies, “I don’t have time for this, uh, five.” The daughter counts, “One, two, three, four, five. Say another number, daddy.” The dad answers, “Come on! I got to get in the right space. Fine, 20.” The daughter counts to 20, opens the piece of paper and says to her dad, “‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10). Bye, Daddy!” The daughter runs out of the room and at this point, the pastor completely falls apart and starts to weep.

       Jesus’s invitation to a culture that is overburdened, sometimes even with good things, is to come to Him and find rest. Will we respond to His invitation?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I admit that I am weary of life in a broken world and burdened by the worries of life. Thank You for Your invitation to come to You and find rest.

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