Julie was tired. Oh so tired. Not just physically, but mentally, too. She was tired of being the “responsible one” who looked after her brother and sister all summer while Mom worked. She was tired of all the chores that fell on her shoulders – the laundry, keeping the house picked up, fixing lunch, even running the mower when Mom didn’t have time.
When school first got out, it seemed like an adventure. She was proud that Mom had thought she was responsible enough to take care of things while she worked instead of having Grandma come over every day. She liked coming up with different things for her brother and sister to eat. She liked the hug she always got from Mom when she came home to folded laundry and a tidy house.
But the summer had worn on and she had worn out. Her little brother and sister whined about what they were having for lunch, the house seemed to be messier every day, the grass needed mowing more often. It was making Julie crabby – with herself, with her brother and sister, even with Mom. She caught sight of the huge basket of laundry waiting to be folded. She just shook her head and went to lay down in her room.
“Lord,” she said. “I am so tired. I’ve tried to do a good job for Mom and I know she appreciates it, but I am tired of having these responsibilities every day. I’m tired of being the one who has to get everything done. I’m tired of this whole thing with our family, not having Dad here to help out, Mom having to work, me having to take care of things while she’s gone. It’s too heavy a burden, Lord.”
In her heart she heard:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Julie turned this scripture over in her mind, repeating it to herself again and again. She felt herself beginning to relax. Little by little, she felt more calm, more positive, more rested. She felt like she was being held in Jesus’ loving arms and that He had taken her burdens. Julie felt peace.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Julie heard the back door slam as her brother and sister returned from the library. “Julie,” they hollered at her. “Grandma picked us up and we brought lunch home. It’s your favorite.”
Grandma hugged Julie as she came into the kitchen. “Thought you could use a little break,” she winked at her. “How about I take you all swimming this afternoon?” The thought of an afternoon floating on a raft and laying in the sun sounded great. And even though she knew it was going to create another basketful of laundry, Julie gave God a quick thumbs up and a whispered, “Thanks!”
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:5-6 (NLT)
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.