I stopped taking a glass of water to bed at night. When cat wants me up, she knocks off whatever is on the nightstand. And cat is keeping me green. Those flimsy recyclable plastic water bottles make a crashing sound like breaking glass that wakes even deaf dog. Only sturdy screw top reusables that sit solidly suffice.
So I’ve been fighting a cold all week and it was cold in the living room last night. I headed for bed with a pair of socks, book and glass of wine. I dozed off within minutes. When I reached to turn out the light, I noticed the wine and slid the long-stemmed glass inside the shelf behind a couple of books for safe keeping and put the Kleenex in front for camouflage.
Around 5:00 a.m. the thin plastic water bottle crashed, deaf dog jumped, I scolded cat and rolled over. When I heard the glass tumble about an hour later, I jumped out of bed, catching it mid-air, and shouted her name, Mary!, along with a few other words. Wine covered the books, table top and what didn’t cover the pencils, pens and paper in the nightstand drawer, rippled down the pillow and splashed all over our recently replaced carpeting. Right. I know. Good thing I don’t drink red.
Todd laughed and got up to make coffee. I frowned and wiped, grumbled and dabbed. When I pulled myself together enough to take a seat at my desk, I opened my book and read, Come unto Me. Huh. I thought of Handel and my mom’s taped together copy of the Messiah and had an urge to run down the steps to get it off the shelf. The urge passed. I wrote the word out on my paper, M E S S I A H, and realized I couldn’t remember making the connection between the Messiah and the Messiah.
How often had I mentioned Handel’s Messiah without acknowledging the Messiah Himself? The one who says to the thirsty, Come…
Come unto Me.
It seems like heavy labor these days LORD…what am I doing wrong?
Sing the words.
Come ah-hahn-to-who Him…
“…all ye that lay-hay-hay-bor…”
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.
Yoke…all I can think about when I hear that is eggs. Your yoke is not something I can really relate to. Barred in neck to neck? My neck aches just thinking about it. How is that supposed to be reassuring?
Stand up. Pick up your desk.
Get up out of your chair and pick up your desk.
It’s heavy. My back hurts. Really?
No not really. I’m not talking about external strength. I’m talking about internal strength. I see your unseen burden. It’s hidden within you because it exceeds your strength to bear alone.
I’m really tired. I have chills…
Yes the cold has set in. The wind works its way in through the window seams…let Me work My way into you. Yoked to Me, I share the weight of your deep deep worry. Come to Me because sin is bound to come to you. So watch yourself carefully.
…The woman at the well said, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes he will explain everything to us.”
What did I say to her?
“I, you speak to, am he,” you said. “Ask me for the living water. You will never thirst. The water I give you will become in you a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Correct. And how did the woman respond?
She said, “Give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty.”
…Take My yoke upon you and learn more of Me. I am gentle and humble in heart. My burden is light and you will find rest.
…Increase my faith.
Even with faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains of frustration, opposition and hesitation.
You search me and you know me, you know when I sit and when I rise.
I Am beside you, you cannot flee from My Presence. Come up here with the angels and I AM here. Or make your bed in the depths, I Am there. Rise on dawn’s wings or settle across the sea. I Am there. My pierced Hand holds you and guides you. Why do you look elsewhere for help?
Confusion, tension, apprehension…I’m sorry.
I lift you above your circumstances so you can see things from My perspective.
If only you would take away what’s bad, mend what’s broken, and replace it all with JOY!
It begins with you. Unload the burden. You toil unnecessarily. You are no longer a slave to others. I broke the bars of YOUR yoke. I’ve enabled you to walk with your head held high. Unyoked from Me, you are like the water buffalo, toiling alone. My burden is light, suited to your strength.
Do you really care about my petty concerns?
Who calls them petty? I know the number of hairs on your head.
Flippin’ fine hair…
I heard that. Don’t compare yourself to others. Come to Me. Enter into My joy along with the quiet followers who bear their cross bravely, yoked to me with a shining face to the world.
You have laid Your hand on me. If only you would do away with all those who cause harm.
With opposition comes increased wisdom. The sick in spirit who come to Me receive health in spirit. The one abandoned finds a dwelling place, the hopeless can find refuge within the shelter of My love. Come receive calm for every fear, solution for every problem, receive all you need. Work that is faithfully done for Me means entrance into My joy—joy that holds through pain and poverty and suffering. This joy, no one can take from you. I endured the cross for the joy that was set before me.
Yoked with Me, suffering, in time, must bring joy…
Yes, time for eggs. Tme to yolk up!
Remember I use ALL things for the good of those who love Me, who have been called according to My purpose. Your greatest gift is freedom. Be careful of those who offer freedom and bind up joy instead. I Am your Messiah. I died to set you free. Come to Me and live with joy in the Presence of My love and grace.
Photo by Ivana Cajina
Scriptural references: Psalm 128, Psalm 139, Lev 26:13; Matt 25:21, John 4: 7-26, Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12:2