Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during the dismal labor conditions at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. At that time, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks to make a basic living. Even children as young as 5 or 6 worked in mills, factories, and mines earning only a fraction of their adult-counterpart’s wages. Workers often faced extremely unsafe working conditions. As a result, labor unions began to form, organizing strikes and rallies. In New York City, on September 5, 1882, ten thousand workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square. This became the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.
Today’s celebration of rest, reminds me of Jesus’ great promises to give us rest!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
God offers us rest from our labor!
What kind of labor is weighing you down? Can you entrust your biggest burdens to God? Remember, if you are not giving your burdens to God, it isn’t because He CAN’T handle them; rather, it’s because you WON’T hand them over. When God challenged me with this thought, I realized I was unnecessarily CHOOSING to carry my burdens! I was choosing to labor in poor working conditions in spite of God offering me HIS optimal conditions. He is the best Boss! When I choose to work HIS way and do HIS work—I work in peace. I enjoy my work! When I’m the boss, I work in stress which often manifests itself in sleepless nights, binging on food or Netflix, excessive exercise, or whatever addiction fits the moment.
Jesus makes it clear—we don’t have to live this way.
I think about it this way. When we give our burdens to Jesus and work things HIS way—it’s like we are trading the heavy harness of a mule struggling to pull a million tons of coal for—the light bridle of a thoroughbred running to a Belmont victory.
God’s work-plan for us is not burdensome!
We are not burdened. We know God’s work matters. We know we are making a difference. We know who holds our future.
Instead of worrying about the future, spend time with the One who knows the future.
Each morning, before you begin your day, tune into your loving Master and He will set your spiritual compass! King David wrote:
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. In Your mercy cut off my enemies, And destroy all those who afflict my soul; For I am Your servant.”Psalms 143:8-12
God is a better Master to us than we are to ourselves.
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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