This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer; though the meteorologists tend to think of it this way, astronomical summer doesn’t end, of course, until much later this month! There are traditional celebrations of labour, but mostly, it’s either a scramble to get ready for back-to-school, or it’s that one final excuse to take it easy before the fall season ramps up.
Back-to-school has a lot more gravitas to it this year, doesn’t it? There’s controversy over potential job action, over vaccinations, over masking policies, over safety…it’s a lot to take in, and a lot to manage for those who are most affected.
In the midst of the craziness, the weight, even the fear, let me encourage you to renew your trust in the Lord. Just as yesterday was no surprise to him, neither is today, or tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day. We serve the Lord of all time and space. He wants to guide you through whatever this next week (or weeks) will bring.
Let me offer you a guided prayer; you can use this as a jump-start to your own prayer for the day, the weekend, and the weeks to come:
Lord, you know my situation (you can describe it to God here). Thank you for having been with me through all I’ve dealt with, good or bad, in the past. You have been trustworthy; help me to renew my trust in you today, knowing with confidence that whatever I face, you will be with me. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon me, that I will be able to discern well what is your will for my life. Help me to accept Jesus’ invitation, to come to him with my weariness and my burdens, so that he can give me rest. Enable me to unload my own burden and to take his yoke upon me, which is easy…or, at least, easier, because of your grace at work in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name…
Consider the chorus of an old hymn by Horatio Palmer. It calls God’s people to avoid temptation, but I think the words of the chorus apply even to those who are dealing with craziness, weight, and fear of what the new season will bring:
Ask the Saviour to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.
“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).