Daily Bread August 09

The Hitchhiker
Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA


Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

Once upon a time, a man was hitchhiking on a dusty country road, headed toward a big city. On his back he carried all his worldly possessions. As he walked, he was passed by a man driving a pickup truck. After the man passed the hitchhiker, he glanced into his rearview mirror just as the exhausted man fell to the ground with his heavy load.

The driver stopped, backed up, got out of his truck, helped the man to his feet, and said, “Sit on the tailgate of my pickup and I’ll give you a ride into town.” The hitchhiker smiled and gratefully accepted. Then he sat down and watched the road recede quickly behind him.

Several minutes later the driver looked in the mirror again and saw the man leaning over so far it seemed he would fall off the open tailgate. The hitchhiker still had his heavy backpack on. The driver stopped the pickup, walked to the back, and suggested to the man that it would be much better if he would take off the pack and lay it in the bed of the pickup.

“I can’t do that,” the man replied. “I’ve already added too much weight to your truck and with the cost of gas, I don’t want to be any more of a burden than I already am.”

If you’ve asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins or lighten your burden, please don’t be like the hitchhiker who continued to unnecessarily bear his heavy backpack burden. If Jesus had not wanted to take your burdens from you, he wouldn’t have chosen to shoulder the yoke with us. He wouldn’t have carried the weight of the cross and all that it signified.

Got burdens? Give them to Jesus. He knows what to do with them!

Prayer Phrase

“In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10).

Spiritual Practice

All That Lives

Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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