DayBreaks for 7/22/19 – He Knows Us Only Too Well

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DayBreaks for 07/22/19: He Knows Us Only Too Well

From the DayBreaks archives, July 2009:

Does God know our hearts and tendencies, or what!?!?!  This past Sunday I spoke on the topic of weariness…we are bone tired, mentally worn out, emotionally drained and spiritually weary.  All because we have neglected to trust Him and have tried to take things into our own hands in order to provide for our needs and future. 

While God only needed 5 words in the 10 Commandments to condemn murder and 5 more to condemn adultery, He needed only 4 words to condemn stealing, but his finger must have worn out when it came to the command (not suggestion!) to rest.  Here’s what God had to say on that subject: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)

Here is the testimony to how well God knows our hearts.  He could have stopped after the first 8 words above: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”  But He knew if He stopped there, we’d begin to rationalize: “OK, I won’t work, I’ll stop and honor God that way.  But I’ll have my son do the work.”  God says, “No, not your son, either.”  “My daughter then.”  “No, not your daughter.”  “Well, I’ll hire someone to run the store or shop in our absence.”  God says, “No, no servants will work that day.”  And just in case the debate were to continue, we aren’t to make animals work, nor strangers and aliens who are under our control or in our land. 

Yet we do.  Why?  Because we are afraid that if we don’t work, if we aren’t making sales calls, if we aren’t studying for the upcoming exam – that our world will crash down around us in failure.  And that’s where the last verse comes into play: God reminds us that He worked for six days making all that is, and that He then paused to “rest”…and you know what? When He did, the universe didn’t stop running…and if the universe didn’t stop when God took a rest, how dare we think that we’re more important than He is and that the world we live in will collapse if we rest!  This is the height of presumption!

Get some rest.  If you’re too tired to do God’s work, or if you have no time left to give to the Lord’s kingdom, you are simply too tired, period.

PRAYER: Forgive us for thinking that we and our actions are indispensable.  Forgive us for thinking we can’t trust You when you have promised to meet ALL our needs!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 5/17/18 – Only One Qualification

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DayBreaks for 5/17/19: Only One Qualification

I have been working pretty much full time for 46 years. While I think I’ve had a tremendous life, I am tired. Many of my friends are retired and I have strong hopes of joining them one of these days, but not yet.

My guess is that you’re tired, too. Physically we scurry around like squirrels, hoping to find that one more bit of something to fulfill our seemingly insatiable wants and needs. We work hard. We play hard. And we’re tired as a result.

Physical tiredness is one thing – and it seems to be an inevitable part of getting older as I can attest. But the worst tiredness is brought about by worry, fear and relationships. We worry about the stock market and our portfolios. We worry if we’ll have war with Iran. We worry about the intentions of North Korea. We worry about the politics in our own country and what the future may hold. We worry about our health. We worry about our kids and grandkids and other loved ones. We get frustrated by our relationships many times and wonder if we can ever be happy. The newspapers and nightly news only feed this tiredness.

Perhaps that’s why this promise of Jesus is so meaningful: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matt. 11:28-29 (ESV)

It is soul tiredness that wears on us. Jesus doesn’t say that we can find rest if we bring a large enough portfolio to him first. There is only one qualification: that we are weary and in our weariness we come to him.

How does he alleviate our weariness? By telling us we can trust his promises, that God knows our needs and will meet them. By telling us we don’t have to worry about the events of the world or the future because it is all going to work out according to his plan – his good and perfect plan. By telling us that we are his children and there’s a dwelling place that the Carpenter himself has made for us just waiting around the next bend. 

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for this great invitation! Give us the wisdom to understand that rest won’t come to us until we come to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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.  ><}}}”>

 

DayBreaks for 8/11/15 – A Long Day’s Journey of the Saturday

DayBreaks for 8/11/15: A Long Day’s Journey of the Saturday 

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Psalm 6:2-3 – Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish.  How long, O LORD, how long?

I’m actually just back from vacation this week.  I needed it.  I’d been pretty worn out the past few weeks.  We had lots of house guests this summer who came and stayed, a few weddings and we just finished our Vacation Bible School on July 29, and it all seemed to just be one thing right after the other without stop.  You know the feeling.  Sometimes life just seems slightly over the edge, doesn’t it? 

George Steiner wrote: “We know of the Good Friday which Christianity holds to have been that of the Cross.  But the non-Christian, the atheist, knows of it as well.  This is to say that he knows of the injustice, of the interminable suffering, of the waste, of the brute enigma of ending, which so largely make up not only the historical dimension of the human condition, but the everyday fabric of our personal lives.  We know, ineluctably, of the pain, of the failure of love, of the solitude which are our history and private fate.  We know also about Sunday.  To the Christian, that day signifies an intimation, both assured and precarious, both evident and beyond comprehension, of resurrection, of a justice and a love that have conquered death…The lineaments of that Sunday carry the name of hope (there is no world less deconstructible.)  But ours is the long day’s journey of the Saturday.”

Our dilemma comes because we live in the nether world between Good Friday and Sunday.  In short, we live on Saturday…stuck half way between the injustice of the world and sin and death and weariness and desperation, and the promise of justice, holiness, everlasting life, eternal energy and the fulfillment of all things.  While most of us who have Saturday off from work long for that day to arrive each week, that “day” we really long for hasn’t arrived yet.  By faith, we can see it just around the corner from where we live.  With age, we hear its footsteps on the gravel path leading to our door. 

In the movie, Gladiator, Djimon Hounsou plays a gladiator friend of General Maximus (played by Russell Crowe.)  At one point in the movie, they speak of their families and wonder if they will ever see them again.  Hounsou says something to this effect: “I believe I will see them again.  But not yet.  Not yet.”  The longing in his voice is palpable.  That is how I long for Saturday to be over and for “Sunday” to arrive, for when it happens, I will see the Savior face to face.  I expect that day to come, but not yet, not yet.

PRAYER: We wait, as patiently as we can, for your return, and with joy for what that day will bring! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

He makes me lie down in green pastures…”  (Ps. 23:2)

Americans have a problem.  (Well, lots of them, if the truth be told.)  The one I’m thinking of is weariness.  Boy – I am acquainted with this one!  Consider these facts:

  1. It affects 70 million Americans and is faulted for 38,000 deaths each year.
  2. It costs the US economy $70 billion in lost productivity each year.
  3. Teens suffer from it.  64% blame their poor school performance on it.
  4. Mid-lifers face it constantly, and researchers say that the most severe cases happen between 30 and 40 years of age (humm…I think that should be extended!!!).
  5. Senior citizens find that over half of them 65 years old or older have this problem.
  6. Americans consume 30 TONS of aspirin, sleeping pills and tranquilizers every DAY trying to cope with this problem.

So what is the problem?  Insomnia.  The lack of ability to get to sleep or to stay asleep.

I can usually get to sleep just fine.  Staying asleep is another story.  I wake up and can’t go back to sleep.  My mind may be focused on work or just on the digital read-out on the face of the clock reminding me that the time designated for sleep is flying by and I’m losing out on it.  And that makes me upset, which helps keep me awake.  The result: I’m weary, tired and constantly craving rest.

As Max Lucado wrote: “People with too much work and too little sleep step over to the baggage claim of life and grab the duffel bag of weariness.  You don’t carry this one.  You don’t hoist it onto your shoulder and stride down the street.  You drag it as you would a stubborn St. Bernard.  Weariness wearies.

Most animals know how to rest.  There is one exception.  These creatures are wooly, simple-minded and slow.  No, not husbands on Saturday – sheep!  Sheep can’t sleep…for sheep to sleep, everything must be just right…sheep cannot find safe pasture, nor can they spray insecticide, deal with the frictions or find food.  They need help.  They need a shepherd to lead them and help them lie down in green pastures.  Without a shepherd, they can’t rest…neither can we.

What is the secret to finding rest as one of the “sheep of his pasture”?  (Ps. 95:7)  “Note the two pronouns preceding the two verbs.  HE makes me…HE leads me.  Who is the active one?  Who is in charge?  The shepherd.  The sheep’s job is to watch the shepherd.  With our eyes on our Shepherd, we’ll be able to get some sleep.  ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.’  (Is. 26:3)

Life can get so loud we forget to shut it down…Of the ten declarations carved in the tables, which one occupies the most space?  Murder?  Adultery?  Stealing?  You’d think so.  Certainly such are worthy of ample coverage. But curiously, these commands are tributes to brevity.  God needed only 5 English words to condemn adultery and four to denounce thievery and murder.  But when he came to the topic of rest, one sentence would not suffice: “8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11)

Do you think God cares about our rest?  I do.  Was He serious about us getting enough of it?  It was one of the commands to have a day of rest.  “God’s message is plain: ‘If creation didn’t crash when I rested, it won’t crash when you do.’

Get some rest.  God approves of it!.

PRAYER: God, we give our frantic weariness to You.  Teach us to lay down our duffel bag of weariness and activity and rest!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 06/14/11 – Faces

DayBreaks for 06/14/11 – Faces

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

It has been a long and tiring trip.  I sit now on the airport shuttle bus at the San Jose airport, returning from yet another business trip.  Fourteen days has seen me in 4 different towns, sleeping in four different beds, and eating in who knows how many restaurants.  Now I’m heading to the parking lot to get in the car for the hour trip home.

I’m tired.  I look forward to the “day” when I’ll never be tired again.  When I won’t ache in the morning when I awaken.  I look about me on the bus and see faces – faces etched, carved and lined with the wrinkled roadmap of reality.  Lines and creases – some deep, some less so – but they all speak volumes.  The pain of broken relationships, the weariness of the flesh, the tiredness of the spirit are all visible on the shuttle bus tonight.  There is an old saying about the eyes being the window of the soul.   Scripture suggests that our faces reflect what we are: (Prov. 27:19) “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

As I sit looking around the shuttle bus at the faces of life with eyes that stare but do not seem to see, I suddenly am struck with the thought that I wonder if I look any differently than the rest.  Then, I look across the bus and leaning ever so slightly to the right so I can see my reflection in the glass window on the other side of the bus, I realize how tired I look, too.  I have a dawning awareness, as I gaze at my reflected image, that I don’t look any different than the rest of my fellow travelers.  I find myself forcing myself to smile to perhaps – just perhaps – cause someone else to smile, too.  Alas, it doesn’t work.

I’ve felt this often on this shuttle bus – the hopelessness, the weariness, the emptiness – and I am overcome with the weight of it all – of life and death, morning and evening, the unending cycle of daily existence.  Prov. 15:13 says “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”  I fear there is much heartache on this bus tonight and every night.  It makes me angry at the enemy of our souls, then I realize that much of our heartache is caused by no one except ourselves and the poor choices that we make.

I think also about the words of Jesus from the gospel of John: “…but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  How well do I follow that command?

Eccl. 8:1 – “Who is like the wise man?  Who knows the explanation of things?  Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.

I hope the next time that I’m on the shuttle bus, that I’ll have a bit more wisdom so that my face isn’t as hard and that His victory will shine through – even just a bit.  I hope you will, too.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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