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More From A. Mattingly

May 29, 2020 by A. Mattingly (Texas, USA)

This is a picture of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, the location of my first backpacking trip. In retrospect, it is not the best location for one’s first backpacking adventure, though I learned many valuable lessons there. I took this picture a year or two later while on my second trip to the mountains, when I was better prepared and in better shape. It still was not an easy climb, but I made it. This picture is looking down on the trail where I had to swallow my pride as described in today’s devotion. Since having upgraded to an RV, I have been away from the backcountry trails for a while, though my husband and I still take day hikes through the mountains every chance we get. I must admit that I miss the simplicity of backpacking.

I still struggle with pride from time to time, especially when I take my eyes off God and once again try to handle things on my own. When will I learn that that usually doesn’t work out for the best? I seem to prefer doing things the difficult way. Matthew 11:28-30 is a good reminder for me to follow God’s way and not my own as Jesus says, “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (NRSV). Do you hear Jesus calling us to come to him? He wants to have a relationship with us. When we take his yoke, we are entering an obedient relationship with Christ where we genuinely listen and respond to each other in love. Our souls will find rest and our burdens will become lighter as we learn to listen and follow his guidance.

When not out enjoying nature or taking photos, I’m usually writing, doing various forms of art, or gardening on our small 10-acre farm. I love teaching sustainable living classes to show others how to use the gifts of nature that God has given us to sustain and nourish our bodies. If you would like to stay in touch, check out my blog at where you can also read other devotions and see samples of my art.

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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