NO LONGER A YOKE OF BONDAGE

How the Lord’s Yoke Guides and Comforts

As a woman, I fulfill many roles – daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, nurse and the list follows. Each role that I embrace imposes upon me certain dictates. For instance, as a daughter I am to honor my mother. I also glean from her wisdom, and learn from her continued instruction. As a sister, I listen and encourage my sisters. We learn from and share our life experiences with one another. And, finally as a mother, I nurture, teach, doctor “boo boos,” and love my son as no other person can love him. However, the most important role I have is that of servant and child of the Lord. This is a role of submission, obedience, learning and humility. When I asked the Lord Jesus to come and live in me and be Lord of my life, I submitted all of me to Him. This submission placed a yoke upon me, as no other role I have to follow. A yoke, according to the Dictionary.com, is something that couples or binds together; an emblem or symbol of subjection, servitude, or slavery.

My first instinct is to resist this yoke. Much as oxen resist the yoke placed upon them, I have the same urge to shake it off and to rid myself of it. It is heavy, and I often look at it as a burden that I cannot carry. However, as I ease into the yoke and accept it – ever yielding to it – I find comfort and security in it. Lamentations 3:27 says, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth.” After reading that verse, I thought it did not apply to me. I am no longer a youth, and could not see how the verse could be applied to me. As I considered it and prayed about it, I then replaced the word “youth” with the word “beginning.” As I looked at it that way, I began to see that the yoke is foundational – it contains me and keeps me from wandering. It was necessary to place it upon me, in order for me to grow and mature. The yoke is becoming lighter and easier to bear, as I recognize that my submitting is needful, and so it has become a comfortable place – one I enjoy.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 and 30, “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.” What a joy it is to take on and submit to His yoke. I am now longing for and desiring it. His teaching is faithful and true – His yoke is easy for me. Submitting to the Lord is uncomfortable at first, because we have to put away the sins that keep us from serving Him faithfully. Think of an uncooked egg – when you crack it open, you can see that the yoke is holding it all together; however; when you break that yoke, it falls apart. When we shake off the yoke He has placed upon us, we fall apart too. I do not enjoy being all mixed up like that egg. When you start to recognize that the yoke is not meant to hurt you, but it is to guide you and keep you secure, it is easier to bear it, and becomes a joyful experience.

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I cherish the many roles I fulfill every day and I humbly thank Him for each role He has entrusted to me. My prayer is that the Lord will continue to instruct me and allow me to bear His yoke. I encourage you to not be fearful or reluctant to submit to His yoke for it will guide you faithfully as you serve Him.

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Taste and See …The Lord is Good

My son, Joshua, came to me this morning and asked, “Momma, do you sometimes wonder if God really exists?”  

I knew that question was coming from somewhere deep within his soul, as Joshua has accepted Jesus as Savior…there was no doubt about it!  I understood it was coming from a longing to know Him more, know Him deeper…a need for sweeter communion with His God.  I told him that all of us, from time-to-time, have those questions…those longings…a desire for a deeper understanding…more importantly … GOD.KNOWS.

I said,

“Joshua, if you remove your shoes and walk through the grass, can you not feel each blade as it sneaks up between your toes?  How about when you walk on the beach and the hot sand warms you all the way up to your nose?  Do you remember how the ocean tastes when it breaks against your face?  If you remember these things, sweet boy, you have experienced what David talks about in Psalm 34:8, ‘Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!’  God has demonstrated Himself in all of creation…in each blade of grass, every granule of sand and in the saltiness of the sea.  He has evidenced His great love for you in all of these things, from the great to the minuscule because He knew your heart would wonder from time-to-time.  So, each time you see a bird gliding gracefully across the sky, the breeze on your face or a funny little sand crab making his way across the morning shore…remember your Creator and His amazing reminders to you that HE DOES EXIST and He loves you with so great a love.”

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I love Joshua and I especially love his tender-heartedness for God … I do not doubt that God will do great things in Josh.  I am so grateful that when I die and Joshua cannot come to me and ask, “Momma, do you think God really exists?” he can look to the sea or the wind or the grass and see his Creator.  More importantly, he can go to God’s Word and listen to the Father say, “Oh, yes, Joshua…I AM!”

Cattle Grates and Chastening

My mind has been flitting off in at least 1,000 directions — I had a rough night sleeping — maybe I should say, rather, that I had a rough night falling asleep — my hips were hurting and my shoulders were hurting — mostly my mind was hurting. The grey matter between my ears kept wanting to go on long walks down memory lane and insisted we go.  There were a flood of memories — smells that I remember — sights — a longing to return to some memories and an urgent need to flee from others. However, the thoughts that meandered through my sleeplessness last night were of my grandparents. I was remembering this one time that I was staying at my Mammaw and Pappaw’s house for a couple of weeks during the summer — I was probably all of 6 or 7 years old — and I wanted to go home so bad. They lived in Goochland, VA and my house was in Powhatan, VA (about a 30 min. drive) and I was CERTAIN in my little mind that I could walk home. So, I packed up my little suitcase and headed down the long driveway through their field and stopped at the end of the driveway where the cattle grate was — I paused and thought long and hard on whether or not I should cross that cattle grate and head to Powhatan — I knew somewhere inside of me that crossing that grate was like walking through a door you could not walk back through. I don’t know how long I stood at the end of the lane before the good sense God gave me crept back in and I turned around and headed back to the house. Unbeknownst to me, Mammaw was watching me out of the window and in her wisdom she was letting me reckon it all out for myself! However, she told me later in life that she had purposed in her heart that if I crossed that cattle grate, she was coming after me and was going to give me a whooping!!!

God also allows us to reckon things out, but I think that He also watches from the window, as it were, and purposes that if we attempt to cross the cattle grate — He’s going to give us a whooping. Hebrews 12:5,6 “My son do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him: For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” I will always be grateful for my Grandparents chastening and even more thankful that God loves me enough to chasten, rebuke and scourge me — from time-to-time when I am in need of it. Sometimes God uses Grandparents, sometimes friends but most assuredly He always uses His Word — like a cattle grate!

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Holy Eyes, Unholy Acts — The End of an Age

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  Revelation 3:10


My heart has been so overwhelmed the last few weeks with all of the chaos around the world and the uprising of the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).  The brutality they have sanctioned on Christians in Iraq and Syria, as well as other places in Europe and The Middle East are enough to make one with the strongest resolve grow faint.  Just a few weeks ago they beheaded American Journalist, James Foley, while today they have acted on their promise to behead Steven Sotloff.


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James Foley and Steven Sotloff have been ripped from the hearts of their families by a brutal, evil and heinous force that we have never been confronted with in our country.  Even during the atrocities of World War II and Adolph Hitler, we were somewhat sheltered due to the time it took to circulate to the world what was happening to the Jewish People in Nazi Germany.  The horror that they faced was just as heinous, but we were shielded from it, for the most part.  My prayers go forth for the families of Mr. Foley and Mr. Sotloff and the journey they are now having to walk through because of terror.

I feel that we have come to the end of an age in America…we no longer have the idyllic America that my parents raised me in and that of which Norman Rockwell painted.  Each day my heart is ripped out of my chest by the headlines which promise me that the greatest storm I have ever witnessed is on the horizon and I need to baton down the hatches.  I do not have the luxury of burying my head in the sand, pretending that if I ignore what is going on in the world, it won’t happen to me.  Innocence is being, and has been, stripped from our minds and we are confronted with the total death of morals, brotherly love and almost hope.  Has hope been murdered?  I read that the Christians in Iraq were questioning if God loved them…had He abandoned them…what had they done that God would punish them by allowing IS to drive them from their homes and kill them because they will not convert to Islam.  Those profound questions from my brothers and sisters in Christ have caused me to ask that question, “Has hope been murdered?”.

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I not only believe, but I know that the answer to the question is an emphatic “NO!”  Hope has not been murdered…it is not dead and moreover, GOD IS NOT DEAD.  God is also not oblivious to the persecution that is going on around the world to His children.  Jesus warned us that we would be persecuted for His Names’ sake.

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Furthermore, Jesus promised us that He would also be there with us through it all.  In Hebrews 13:5 Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  That, beloved, is a promise with absolute certainty!  His Holy Eyes see the persecution of the saints and the unholy acts of those who persecute them.  The persecution will not go unpunished by our Holy God.  He will bless the saints according to His great riches in Glory.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed and faint with all that we are seeing…but hold on, remain faithful and DO NOT LOSE HEART.  God is not dead….He is not unaware and He has not forsaken the righteous.  All of these things must come to pass…and He promises in Revelation 22:20, “Surely I am coming quickly.”  I pray God’s strength and peace over you.