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)
He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Isa. 43:2 (NLT)
Lord Jesus, thank you for perpetually presiding at a throne of grace, with burden-bearing love and constant-welcoming kindness. When we feel like “fragile reeds” or “flickering candles,” you don’t resent our weariness, roll your eyes, and tell us to “buck up.” You promise us a rest you alone can give. Thank you.
This April Saturday, we bring you our tired selves. We’re “bushed” from engaging in challenging and healthy relationships. No aspect of our lives is more delightful and more depleting than our calling to love well. As parents and spouses, friends and workers, employers and neighbors, we need grace, wisdom, and strength.
We come to you with our stories of grief and loss, changes and transitions, care-giving and criticism-taking. Jesus, help us to accept the reality of emotional and mental worn-out-ness, physical limits and spiritual warfare. Grant us thick skin and big hearts.
Sometimes we simply take too much on. Forgive us, Jesus. Sometimes the sheer “demanding-ness” of life makes us want to buy a one-way ticket to a faraway place, like Jonah or the younger “prodigal son.” But that would solve nothing. So instead, we ask for wisdom and grace, to choose between the critical things and the less important things.
Grant us deep, restorative sleep; and joy-fueling, heart-centering refreshment. Above all, grant us Sabbath rest, and gospel renewal. Free us from running to caffeine and sugar, too much whine and too much wine, the approval of people and the lust for more. Jesus, thank you for being a kind, engaged, and Good Shepherd. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and trust-worthy name.