Carrying A Backpack

November 4, 2000
by Michael Steckel

Matthew 11:28-29 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NIV)

Recently I did some backpacking. I used to do a lot of hiking when I was younger, but it had been quite a few years since I had put a backpack on. When I got out on the trail and started to walk up and down the peaks, I started to realize how heavy my pack was. It was killing my neck and shoulders, but I had to continue. I was alone and had distance to make. The second day of my trip was the hardest. I was sore from the first day of hiking, and it seemed that I had to do more climbing. It got to a point where I had to drop some of my gear so I could carry the pack. It was hard but I made it. I have to say I was spent from this journey. It felt so good to take that pack off and give my shoulders and neck a break.

When I was out in the woods hiking, carrying that pack, I was thinking of today's scripture verses. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Now I did not expect the pack to be lifted off me because I am a Christian. I can tell you I was hoping to see someone running on the trail with an all-terrain vehicle. It sure would have been nice to have someone take the pack for me.

What I have found is that the rest Jesus spoke about here was from the burden of sin. Jesus took my sin upon himself and has given me rest in love, and peace in God. Such rest makes facing the challenges and burdens that life brings so much easier.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come before you as sinners in word and deed. There is nothing we can do to change this, but we give you praise and joy because you have given your Son Jesus Christ to bear our sins and make us righteous in your sight. Amen.

About the author:

Michael Steckel

Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

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