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Day 1

Against the Current


Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28


One summer evening my husband and I were walking along the wooden boardwalk along the beach in the resort town where we have a house. We saw the strangest thing! There was a little white dog in the lake paddling like crazy, but he wasn’t moving any closer to shore. His master was on the shore calling him over and over again, not noticing that although the dog was furiously paddling to get to his master, he wasn’t moving towards the shore. In fact, it looked like the dog was standing in one spot paddling away. It looked so funny we had to laugh! As we stood and watched, my husband noticed that he was paddling against a current that was slowly moving him away from the shore and he was too small to fight against it. Lake Winnipeg is so large, you can’t see an end to it. Being a shallow lake, there is an undertow that you don’t always know is there until you go in the water and then try to swim against it. This is what the dog was fighting against. Finally, the owner went in and rescued his little dog. Even while he carried him to shore, the dog kept paddling and flailing his paws in the air, probably traumatized from the difficult and futile attempts to swim to shore. We watched as the owner held his paws and tried to calm him down.


This incident reminded me that sometimes things happen in our life that are much bigger than we can handle, yet still we try and try to overcome the strong tide that continues to work against our efforts to overcome it. Many times, my husband and I have struggled against financial setbacks. It’s not just one thing, but many things, like the time we discovered we needed a few major repairs on our house that had to be fixed all at once (plumbing, electrical and water usage) in order for us to be able to use the house at all. We hadn’t planned for these extra expenses and couldn’t begin to know how to pay for it all. So in times like this, we go to God in prayer and ask Him what it is we need to do and what He wants us to do since our own resources are usually insufficient. Then we need to trust him to provide.


Maybe your issues are not financial, but have to do with your health, your loved ones or relationships in your job, school or church. Health problems and relationships that aren’t going well can seem insurmountable and can also take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. Notice in the opening verse (Matt. 11:28), that Jesus is calling people that are laboring and burdened by their labors. Labor is good, but when we are burdened by our labors, Jesus offers us a better way. It may sound simple for the complex problems we are currently facing, but when we come to Jesus with our burdens, there is a promise that He will give us rest. Rather than focus on our inability to solve our problems, we need to drop them at His feet and receive the rest (and instruction) He freely offers. Once rested, we will know with confidence that God will provide whatever we need because we trust in Him.

Pathways to Devotion VI

Read:

Matthew 11:28-30

Pray:

Whatever problem you face today, take it to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to give you the rest He has promised.

Reflect:

Think about a time or two you have been presented with insurmountable problems. What was the outcome and, looking back, what would you do different the next time?

Application