The Journey – Standing Still

09 Mar

Desert Caravan“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” [Exodus 20:8-11]

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All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 11:27-29]

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This is an unusual post, Gentle Reader. I welcome you to this journey, this caravan, as we take this special time this year… this Lenten Season… this 40 day period… and head into our own spiritual Jerusalem for our Passover sacrifice, our celebration of the Resurrection at Easter. We began last Wednesday, 5 days ago.

In my own life, the Lord had again placed me on notice that come Resurrection Day, He would again show me something new and spectacular that I have never seen, never known, of Him before. He has done this from time to time in the past. But there is always this “run up” to that awareness. The epiphany ALWAYS came after a time of preparation. But I did NOT always KNOW that. In some years, it just happened… I’d have this extraordinary, often quite painful, process of “spiritual housecleaning” and “preparation”… but WITHOUT knowing that the Lord had something special in His hands come Easter.

So this year, there are these two massive differences from years past.

One, that each day the Lord Himself has chosen simply to identify something in and of me, of my life, my spirit, that encumbers me. These encumbrances are “my stuff”… stuff I grasp as treasure in my hands, clutch as treasure to my heart, that are empty, meaningless, and that build a barrier between me and Our Lord. Even more amazing… He is NOT going to take these things away from me. He’s not going to love me less, think less of me, if I cling to the emptiness of “my stuff”. No. He is choosing to leave it to me, after He identifies the item, after He speaks Truth over the item… He is leaving it up to me to choose to cast it away… or not.

Two, the other big difference between this year and past years is… we are inviting others… any others… all others… to travel with us. This is a journey in company, a caravan of companions. This is quite new for me. This is rather transparent and vulnerable. Nothing inappropriate, of course. The invitation is out here, Gentle Reader, to enter in fully to this journey. Feel free to share anything you’d like about letting go “your stuff”, if you identify encumbrances.

So there is our context, Gentle Reader. Last Sunday, at least in my little section of the universe, here in the Buckle of the Bible Belt… God called a “Snow Day”. In this city of 100 churches… they ALL closed, because of dangerous driving conditions. Amazingly, that turned into an incredible day of worship, right here in my home. It was a simple day, a quiet day, music, internet contacts with other worshipers, prayer… all that… but the Lord came in a massive and incredible way with prayer response that just overwhelmed.

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Today, fellow travelers… do not strike camp and saddle up. I didn’t realize that, though probably I should have… but we’re not traveling today. Nope, as the day started, the Lord came striding out among the tents, calling out for everyone to hold fast.

He cheerfully gathered everyone around Him, had food brought to Him prepared at various hearths, blessed it, divided it up, and served us all breakfast. As we all sat together, we chatted, laughed, enjoyed one another’s company. I’ve never so relaxed.

As Jesus ate, He spoke. He spoke of the Father, the Father’s love, for Him, for us, for all. He spoke of His love, for the Father, for us, for all. He spoke of the Spirit of Love, from the Father, of Him, in us. It was amazing. It wasn’t like any “sermon” you’ve ever heard. It was wonderful. He spoke of us as His children, His brethren, His family, His friends. Wondrous…

As He closed, He invited us all to “lose something” today. He said He was going to ask us for something, and then He was going to give us something. That His gift was for us, whether we chose to lose what He called for or not. This was not a “deal”, and His gift was not conditional. Both matters were simply appropriate for today.

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The Lord said He wanted us to consider holding on to today in our hearts… remembering… replaying… reliving… how wonderful it was when we simply sat down, let Him feed us, rested, and enjoyed one another’s company. THIS, He said, was “Sabbath”. This was what it was always intended to be. That we were to stop, for just one day out of seven, and TRUST HIM to run, not only the Universe-at-Large, but also our own little corner of it.

What did He challenge us to give Him? To cast away from us, and drop along the trail today? Our “Control Key”, like the Remote Control we use to manage and micromanage all our circumstances and activities for every day. Our worries, our work, our stresses, our planning, all that. Just to take our hands off the control panel… at least for one day each week. He challenged us to Trust Him to manage that day, and just rest from all our work of the rest of the week.

That was what He asked me to drop today… not as a “big deal”… but just as a reasonable ongoing part of what He has made into a wondrous day to begin with. I have done that.

But then, without waiting for our responses or answers, He did this incredible thing. Just sitting there with us, all circled about… He said He wanted us to try something. For these moments, He wanted us just to sit, to feel the love present here, and behold Him. Just look upon Him, see Him, and Know Him as He sat there loving us.

Then He said, as we did that, as we quieted our hearts, minds, selves to simply see Him as He is, in all that love… we would come to see the Father Himself.

His closing words, as we began, were… “Be still, and know that I AM God…”

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We are still there, Gentle Reader. What a wondrous day this is.


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