Spiritual Practice

Rest from the Stress

Kaycie Cornelius & Claire Smith

Today, I need to be reminded of your presence, love, and grace. Sometimes, the stress of school, sports, and friendship is overwhelming. I feel as if excelling is impossible academically, athletically, or spiritually. I know I am not perfect, and trying to be only makes it harder.

I need you, God. I come to you, weary and exhausted, because I know you will listen and provide. Your words are comforting: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NIV). When times get hard and I don’t understand why things are happening, remind me that you are with me and let me fall back on my trust in you.

—Kaycie Cornelius, 18


Reflect on Jesus’ invitation to rest in Matthew 11:28–30.

COME AS YOU ARE: God, you have always been with me, even when I didn’t know you. When I was struggling with depression and was ready to leave forever, you were with me. At the weakest and lowest parts of my life, you whispered, “You are loved.” I am thankful, for I know and believe that now. Help me when I am weak. When I fall, which we both know I will, help me to remember that I will never be perfect and that I don’t have to be to receive your grace and forgiveness. Thank you, God, for your love that offers peace and makes me new.

—Claire Smith, 17

—from devozine (November/December 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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