Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me,
for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest
(relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
Matthew 11:28-29 Amplified Bible

When my granddaughter, Grace, was an infant, my daughter took her to the pediatrician for a follow-up visit. She was a tiny little thing, just two months old at the time. Her older sister, Charity, had gone along to help Mom. Because of some problems she had since birth, they needed to take blood from her vein rather than a finger prick. They were all in the examination room when the blood was to be extracted, so the nurse asked Charity to stand at the head of the table and help hold and calm her, while mom stood at the side.

As she was so tiny, the nurse had a difficult time inserting the syringe. Charity was at her post trying not to get upset at the quickly escalating fiasco. But as Grace got more upset, Charity’s stress level was elevating also. Then it peaked. She started to wobble a bit, her eyes lost focus and at that point her mom saw her slide slowly down the wall and under the table. She had fainted! They had to put the blood work on hold and take care of Charity who was out cold! She was trying so hard to be strong for her baby sister, but the stress took its toll.

Sometimes life is like that. I know personally, I always want to be strong for my family. I will put my own health in jeopardy to meet their needs or desires. But especially during holidays when the pace is so hectic anyway, it can take a toll. And often our stress is not necessarily from outside sources, but self-imposed. We don’t want to say “no”. We don’t want to inconvenience anyone else…never mind about us! We don’t even want to compromise. We want to do it the way we’ve done it for the last umpteen years and we want to do it perfectly. And besides, if you want it done right (whatever it is), do it yourself! Does any of this sound familiar?

Well the only problem with this attitude is that circumstances and people (including ourselves) change from year to year. And if we don’t change with them, the stress level can max us out to the point that we end up under the table! We can become overly fatigued or even sick. When that happens, we’re no good to anyone, not even ourselves! I must tell you that I’m writing this from personal experience. My lessons in moderation have been learned the hard way. I’ve always wanted to be Super-Mom, Super-Friend, just Super to everyone! But as the years have passed some of my super powers have waned a bit. I’ve had to make some modifications to my job description. I’ve come to understand that it’s more important to me and my family for me to be in super-rest rather than super-stress. And when I forget that, I go to the Lord, give it to Him once again, and enter into the rest that only complete confidence in Him can bring.

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Psalm 62:1




Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5

It seems that one of the definitions of our times is restlessness. I heard the other day that most adults now days have the attention span of one second less than a goldfish. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that! That statement hit me right between the eyes!

Many people are hurrying here and scurrying there and when they arrive, they immediately have to leave for somewhere else. Sound familiar? I’ve often had the discussion with friends about why most of us are so forgetful now days…even young people. And the inescapable conclusion is always that we have too much stress in our lives…too many things on our mind or…as the old country saying goes, “Too many irons in the fire!

I find that most of the time I can’t just sit quietly and do nothing. I have to be doing something to occupy my mind, as if it wasn’t cluttered enough! I’ve been asking the Lord to help me to break this pattern of being so uptight about everything. And I find that most of the stress I have is self-imposed. For example, that car in front of me isn’t going to go any faster no matter how frustrated I get! Then I get to work and someone has parked in two spaces, so I have to find a parking place much farther up causing me to be late for work (once again)! The needle on the stress-o-meter is rising! When I get to work, I sit down and reach for my favorite pen. Someone has walked off with it. Why can’t people just leave my stuff alone! I just started my day and my stress meter is already at the half-way point! I’m exaggerating somewhat, but you get the point. You may be thinking, “That is such trivial stuff. Why would anyone get bent out of shape by those things?” Because we get into a pattern of restlessness and it causes every little thing to be blown out of proportion.

I’ll tell you what really started me thinking about all of this. I was headed home one day after work, a few years ago. I was tired and didn’t particularly feel good, so I was intent on getting home as quickly as possible. I was breezing through the north part of the city trying to make the traffic lights. I went through the first one on caution. Okay, I’m safe there. If these people would just get out of my way! Then I went through the other one on caution, too, but it must have changed to red before I got through because in a few moments I saw blue lights flashing behind me. Oh, dear…you know that feeling…somewhere between panic and hysteria! The officer who stopped me was very nice, but at the same time very firm. In spite of all my pleading, I ended up with a ticket for running a red light. That incident started me doing some serious introspection. I realized that I needed God’s help to break this pattern of anxiety (lack of rest) in my life. It was an expensive lesson, but one that I have not yet forgotten.

Stress does not just wreak havoc on our circumstances, but on our physical and spiritual well-being as well. In our society today, it takes some real effort to maintain peace. But if we keep our eyes on the Peacemaker, it is not impossible. And the benefits of living in rest far outweigh the effort necessary to obtain it.

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

John 14:27 (AMP)




Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions              of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 AMP

I’m going to start this devotional off with a little bragging. I know, I know, we’re “not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.” But I’m not bragging about myself. I have to tell you that I have the most awesome granddaughters ever! If you knew them, you’d agree with me UNLESS you have granddaughters of your own. Then of course, you would think that THEY are the most awesome.

My point is this…I would give my granddaughters absolutely anything their hearts desired if I could afford it. My daughter said to me one time, “Mother, you just let them do anything they want when they’re at your house.” I replied, “Absolutely, as long as it doesn’t do them bodily harm! It’s my prerogative as a grandmother.”  And guess what…they LOVE coming to Meme’s house and…they never want to leave! I’m telling you…Meme Rocks!

There is however one thing they do that aggravates me somewhat. When I offer to give them something, they say, “Are you sure, Meme? Are you sure you don’t need that?” or “Meme, you don’t need to give that to me!”

I know what their thoughts are behind it. They are thinking of me and being considerate and I do appreciate it. But if I didn’t want them to have it, I wouldn’t have offered to give it to them. Are you making any analogies yet? Many times that’s how we act with our Heavenly Father. Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) And…“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:11) And how about this…“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

It must hurt the Father’s heart for us to act like He begrudgingly gives us things. You don’t have to beg Him and act like you don’t deserve it. You’re His child!  No…like me with my granddaughters, He loves to bless us and He takes pleasure in  giving us not only the things we need, but also the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4) The only thing HE desires in return is our love and a thankful heart.




Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared
For those who love Him
1 Corinthians 2:9

That verse just makes me feel good all over. My Heavenly Father has awesome things prepared for ME! How do I know that? Because I’m one of those who love Him. And if you also love Him, he has great things prepared for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Things may not appear to be going great in the present moment, but hold on to this promise and say, “My Father is preparing things for me that are more wonderful than I can even imagine!” Remind the Lord of His promises and thank Him that He is working to bring them to pass. After all, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 TLB

I have heard numerous stories about how God turned situations around for people because they held on to his promises in faith. Proverbs 24:16 says, “Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.” Maybe you feel like this is your seventh time and like the commercial you’re saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” But let me tell you, with God’s help you can! Listen to these words from God Himself and take heart.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10