A Prayer for Those Who Feel Weary and Burdened This Christmas
By Debbie McDaniel
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
We rub shoulders every day with people who are hurting, lonely, or desperate. Sometimes we notice, but many times we don’t. Maybe we’re often too busy, preoccupied, or overwhelmed ourselves.
And to be honest, many days, “we” are those people: the hurting, the lonely, the desperate. Just needing someone to notice. To slow down. To take time.
Sometimes in the rush of the holiday season, it seems that more people appear stressed, on edge, weary and worn, tempers are short. What's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year can often feel more like madness - in the traffic - in the crowds - in the shopping frenzy.
We’re busy. We’re pressed for time. Running full sprint, straight through the holidays.
For many of us, being busy comes naturally – active, moving, going – it’s what we’re all about. We’re rewarded for how much we accomplish, especially in short amounts of time. We live in a culture that places value on the busy. We tend to get impatient with those who are too slow about anything.
And nothing wrong with being “on the go.” Or being active. Except this one thing.
We often never stop.
We’re too busy to stop. We even forget what it feels like. So much so, that when we finally do, we feel like we’re wasting time. We feel guilty for being “lazy.” Slowing down takes work. Stopping and just breathing deep…takes practice.
But God is not so interested in whether we "get it all done" with a few days to spare before Christmas. He's interested in "us," in our hearts, in our lives.
Jesus came many years ago, right into the midst of chaos and weariness. And to a dark world, He brought peace and great hope.
He still brings it today. He lifts our burdens and heavy spirits and promises rest for our souls.
May God help us to reflect that same heart of peace and grace to our world today. Giving a simple gift, a smile, a kind word, a meal, or just taking the time to listen to a friend who’s hurting, or letting someone in through a long line of holiday traffic. Just the little things can be more meaningful than we could ever know, to another who feels weary or burdened.
Breathing in His grace today. And taking time to notice those around me.
Hope you are too.
Thank you that your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Thank you that you promise to give to us, those who feel worried, hurried, pressured, and stressed; deep rest and peace for our souls - if we'll just come before you. Thank you for your reminder that we don't have to carry it all. Forgive us for the times we try to be self-sufficient, for not taking time to rest. Thank you for the refreshing that comes from your Spirit, filling us with joy, covering us with your shield of favor and blessing, leading us forward with hope. Equip us to be those who notice the lonely, the hurting. Help us to slow down, to take time, to point others to you.
In Jesus' Name,
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Originally published Thursday, 23 December 2021.