“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22

There is the story in the Talmud of a poor man who had no wagon or donkey to carry his heavy bundles.  He had to carry the load on his back and walk many miles with his burdens to the village.  A wealthy man with a large wagon rode by.  Seeing the poor man struggle with his burdens, he stopped and offered the man a ride.  The poor man was more than grateful to have his burden eased.

After traveling some time, the wealthy man noticed that his companion was sitting with his bundles still upon his shoulders.  “Why don’t you put your belongings down?” asked the wealthy man.  “There is plenty of room in my wagon to lay your burdens down.  Are they not heavy?”

“Indeed, they are,” sighed the poor man. “But you have been more than gracious to offer me a ride and I do not wish to take advantage of you by weighing down your wagon.”

We read this story and think how foolish the man was.  But how often do we come to the Lord with a need or with something that is troubling us.  We spend time in prayer, asking Him to meet us and we thank Him for hearing us, and for meeting our need. Then we get up and go about our daily chores, still carrying a heavy burden on our hearts, wondering and worrying about how things are going to turn out.

I had a copy of a poem which I carried around in my Bible for years. Somewhere, I misplaced it, but as near as I remember it went like this:

“Tis wonderful surely to carry your burden with a smile and a shrug that seems gay

While you push back the heartache and carry the sorrow when it seems that there’s no other way.

But I’ve found that no sorrow or heartache or trial is too great for my Saviour to bear

So, I take them and give them to His precious keeping and thank Him and leave them there.

And wonder of wonders the heart that was breaking, the pain that was hurting, the trial

Are no longer my burdens but His and my portion is gladness and joy and a smile.”

God hears our prayer the first time we ask Him, and there is nothing wrong with asking Him every day until we receive our answer.  But in between our prayer times, we need to leave it with Him and trust Him to do what is best for us.

Prayer:  Thank you, Jesus, that we can bring our burdens to you in prayer and know that You care and that you will give us the answer we need according to Your will.  Help us to leave our burdens at your feet.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

The New Living Translation reads as follows: “I am leaving you with a gift and peace of mind and heart.”

Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt as He looked around at these men He had loved and worked with.  There were so many things He wanted to share with them, but the time was growing short.  In the New Living Translation, in John 14:30, He said, “I don’t have much more time to talk to you.”

Over the three and a half years they had traveled together, He had tried to prepare them for the time when He would leave them, and they would be responsible to spread the message of His love to the world.  Earlier this night, by washing their feet, He had demonstrated the need for humility and that they should become as servants to one another.  As they sat around the supper table, He had revealed that one of them was a traitor and would soon betray Him to His enemies.

In John 13:34, He gave them a new commandment, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  In Chapter 15 He reminded them that He was the Vine and they must abide in Him in order to bear fruit.  He also spoke of the Comforter which He would send to give them power for the work He wanted them to do.

He knew that they had not yet grasped the fact that He must die in order to bring redemption to the world.  In chapter 14, He reminded them that He was leaving, but that He was going to prepare a place for them and one day they would join Him there.  They questioned Him as to where He was going and once again, He spoke of going to the Father and that once He was gone, if they were to ask anything in His Name, it would be done.

In Chapter 17, Jesus prayed that they would never forget the things He had taught them, and that they would be faithful to fulfill the ministry for which He had prepared them.  He also prayed for all those who would listen to them and believe on Him through their word.

What a wonderful gift Jesus was leaving His disciples – peace of mind and heart.  That same gift is ours today if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept the teachings of His Word.  His Spirit will fill our hearts and minds with peace.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for the wonderful message you gave your disciples before you left them, and that the teachings also apply to our lives today.  Thank you for the gift of peace you gave them and have given us as well.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“For a child is born to us,

    a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

    And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

When I read this verse and break it down, it tells so many wonderful attributes of God.

First, He is wonderful. The definition of wonderful is “inspiring delight, pleasure or admiration. Extremely good; marvellous” Doesn’t that sound just like God?

Next, He is our counsellor. We can bring our needs, hurts, dreams, and worry’s to Him – free of judgement and only given love in return. He is always listening and waiting for us to call to Him.

Third, He is mighty. We serve a strong and powerful God who always has been victorious and will always be victorious.

Fourth, He is God. There is none beside Him and He is absolutely unrivalled.

Next I learn that He is everlasting. He always has been and always will be. Psalms 90:2 tells us that “before the mountains were born,

    before you gave birth to the earth and the world,

    from beginning to end, you are God.”

Then I see that He is our Father. Some of us may not have ever had a good experience with our earthly fathers but our Heavenly Father will never let us down or disappoint us. He loves us beyond measure and truly wants what is best for us.

Last, we see that He is our Prince of Peace. He speaks to the winds and waves and they become still. He also moves in our lives and causes anxious hearts to steady, and worry to flee.

God is everything you need today, let’s praise Him for that!

God, I am thankful that You are everything I need today and more! You are so good to me and I praise You for that.