DayBreaks for 4/01/19 – He Speaks to All

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DayBreaks for 4/01/19: He Speaks to All

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

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.

Galen’s Thoughts: Everywhere I look I see weary people. People who are weary of the commute, the rat race,  the pressures of raising kids who don’t seem to care or love in return, of politics, of religion, of sickness. We are a weary race! And burdened? You bet! How we long for a respite! We long for the day we can (hopefully) retire and lay some of our burdens aside.

There is one who extends the rest to us. Strangely enough, at the same time he offers rest, he offers a yoke. The yoke, however, is not a crushing load. The yoke is to learn from him, to learn to be gentle in heart as he was gentle in heart, to be humble as he was humble. To learn total and absolute trust and dependence upon God. Only – I repeat – only, when we have done that, when we have taken his yoke, will we find peace for our souls. Only through learning from Him can we learn what life is meant to be like and how to live it.

Sometimes, however, we may be tempted to think that Jesus’ words weren’t for us, that they are for those who are starving, who are at the point of a mental or physical breakdown, who literally can’t face one more day. Not so. Listen to these words of wisdom and comfort from Elton Trueblood in The Book of Jesus: “It is not easy to be a human being. Human life carries with it marvelous possibilities of joy, but there are, at the same time, untold ways in which it can go wrong. Even after we have learned all that we can of the literature of tragedy, we have but an imperfect sense of the sorrow and frustrations which occur in countless lives…

“The universality of human sorrow and need is one of the reasons for the great attractiveness of the words of Jesus which appear at the end of the eleventh chapter of Matthew. When Jesus says, ‘Come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden.’ He is really speaking to all.”

Jesus’ invitation is to you. It’s for today, right now. What will you say? How you answer will make the difference between finding rest for your soul or continuing to live a life that is heavily burdened. He wants you to be at peace and know the rest that only He can give to you.

Prayer: During this stressful and tiring time, Lord, may we shoulder Your yoke and find the burden that is easy!  Let us lay down the burdens we put on ourselves for performance and achievement that we can receive the rest You want to give to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 11/28/18 – God’s Bizarre Carpentry Shop

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DayBreaks for 11/28/18: God’s Bizarre Carpentry Shop

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

Romans 8:28 (NASB) – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

My daughter can do macramé – you know, that weird bit about cutting and folding a sheet of paper so that it resembles a swan or some other animal.  I have to admit, while she’s in the process of taking the piece of paper and beginning to fold it, I can’t start to imagine what in the world she’s making.  As she folds away in a meticulous fashion, I remain confused.  It isn’t until the end of the process that I can see what she was making, but I couldn’t begin to replicate what she’s done.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul had this to say (chapter 4:16-17, NIV): Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Our first reaction to verse 17 is to think that Paul has totally lost his marbles.  “Light and momentary troubles”?  Are you kidding me?  Try telling that to the mother of a special needs child who requires 24-hour care, day in and day out.  Try telling it to the young man in the wilds of the hills in Afghanistan, or to his wife who struggles to raise 3 kids without his presence.  Try telling it to the person who has once more been diagnosed with cancer – after having beaten it once.  “Light and momentary,” you say?  Harumph. 

But Paul nonetheless claims it is so.  How can he say that?  Well, he says that, in God’s bizarre carpentry shop, that it is those very troubles that are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs those very trouble.  The word for achieving in the Greek means, “to make possible”, “to bring to pass.”  Paul says, that somehow (and this is way beyond me!), that our troubles from this earth will make possible our eternal glory.  I think it works like this: what is earthly must be torn down and removed so what is heavenly can start to be built.  It’s like tearing up a bad street to create a new paved one – until the old is torn out and removed, the new can’t be put in place.  And the troubles we have in this world are designed to encourage us to let go of this world and its attractions so that new, eternally glorious things can be put in their place. 

Oh, and one more thing.  Paul says the troubles are “light”, from the Greek, elaphros, which means “easy to bear.”  They are easy to bear only when we keep our perspective.  What is here is light (not of much weight) and temporary (of short duration).  What we await is an eternal glory that “outweighs” them (the glory is HEAVY, but not a burden) – and eternal.  Here’s Paul’s point: not all the troubles of this world are of greater weight nor longer duration than the glory of heaven.  That’s a perspective worth keeping!

Prayer: Lord, we don’t understand how You do it, but we thank you that our earthly troubles make possible our eternal glory.  The next time we are distress and in deep trouble, may we remember Paul’s perspective, and lean hard into eternal things!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/13/15 – Taking a Nap With Jesus

DayBreaks for 10/13/05: Taking a Nap With Jesus  

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2005:

Matt. 11:28-30 (NLT) – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.

I look around me and all I see are blurs.  People coming and going at warp speed.  How many people in the course of a week do I talk with who tell me how tired they are, how busy they are – that they don’t have time for one more thing on their plate!  I’m worried for them – and also for myself in the busyness of begin a pastor.  There are many good causes, there are many things to which we can give our time and our effort – and most of us have problems setting boundaries and saying “No.” 

We seem to have forgotten that the greatest Cause of all that to which we can offer our time and energy to is God.  You see, God knows about human limitations – after all, He built them into us.  And unlike us, He’ll readily admit that we have weaknesses and need rest.  We don’t want to admit that we need anything at all – even if it is just rest.  And so we drive ourselves to the point of exhaustion trying to be in twelve different places at once, doing twelve different things simultaneously.

In Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli wrote: “Actually, we do know how to rest; we simply refuse to rest.  Rest is a decision we make.  Rest is choosing to do nothing when we have too much to do, slowing down when we feel pressure to go faster, stopping instead of starting.  Rest is listening to our weariness and responding to our tiredness, not to what is making us tired.  Rest is what happens when we say one simple word: ‘No!’  Rest is the ultimate humiliation because in order to rest, we must admit we are not necessary, that the world can get along without us, that God’s work does not depend on us.  Once we understand how unnecessary we are, only then might we find the right reasons to say ‘Yes!’  Only then might we find the reasons to decide to be with Jesus instead of working for him.  Only then might we have the courage to take a nap with Jesus.”

I’m not by nature a “napper.”  It seem that there’s too much to do.  But I need to learn the lesson that I am unnecessary.  God’s work will go on without me, as will the world itself.  When we’re so busy “doing,” it is hard to be sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning.

PRAYER: God, if we don’t slow ourselves down, I pray you will slow us down until we get our priorities in line with what is truly important! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/31/12 – No Room for a Chip

DayBreaks for 10/31/12 – No Room for a Chip

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Matthew 16:24 (ESV)

Carrying crosses is not an easy thing – especially when you know you are to be crucified on it.  I suspect that it was easier for Simon the Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross than it was for Jesus to carry it, even if Jesus hadn’t been scourged to within an inch of his life prior to the journey.  Our own burdens always seem heavier than someone else’s.

And, when we are carrying a heavy burden, we often are quick to let others know about it.

“Lord,

“You said if I want to follow you, I will need to carry my cross every day. I want to follow, Lord.

“But there are days when I’m dragging my cross, making a trail for everyone to see. There are days when I’m pushing my cross, making my own path miserable and dusty. There are days when I’m sitting on my cross, trying to get comfortable and going nowhere. There are days when I’m giving my cross to somebody else, who already has one of his own.

“Help me, Lord, to carry my cross on my shoulder. When it’s up there, it leaves no room for a chip!” – A Treasury of Bible Illustrations

I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of days when I drag my cross and hope that everyone will see how deep of a furrow I leave behind because of the weight of my struggle.  Then, there are days when I’m not dragging it, but I’m pushing it – and that’s even harder because it takes even more strength.

Sitting down for comfort on the way?  Oh, yeah.  It sure beats dragging or pushing the cross, doesn’t it?  It is far easier than pushing or pulling and it is far more common to us American Christians.  Not necessarily so common for other Christians, though, around the world.

How about you?  Are you dragging your cross, pushing it, sitting on it or trying to give your cross away?

PRAYER:  Jesus, for all the times I have complained about my cross, I’m sorry.  I nearly always forget how blessed I am!  Help me to not carry a chip on my shoulder, but rather to shoulder the crosses you send my way.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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