Easy Life | A Post-Easter Reprise

Image source Flickr

AUDIO for this post: HERE

Exactly how
He designed the blueprint
A garden
Serenaded with
Endless supplies
Abundant life
Absence of worries
Inevitable Harmony
Undisputed Peace
Unquenchable Love
Unending Goodness

You see,
We've turned what He designed
Into what we created
We broke the ease
Shattered it like broken glass
On a lonesome highway
Diverted the course
Set ablaze the vision
We took the hard way
In our minds it made sense
our own work produced nothing but destruction and heaviness

On that unforgettable day
He stayed poised
Both arms stretched out
Left and right
On the cross at Golgotha
Not giving up
Even in death
His desire for our lives remained
His love
Given in the form of an undeserving exchange
His life for ours, our sins on Him
"Come to Me if you feel heavy," He says even now
"Take my yoke, it's easy and light
Take my spirit, it's gentle
Take my heart, it's lowly
Take all of Me,
I'll give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

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Easy Life...

Easy, easy, easy. If we have His rest, we would wake up every morning with excitement just to search for what the day holds. Like a man searching for treasure, we would do anything to find that one pot of gold. It won't matter if we have to struggle through the storm, lightning, and thunder to find the rainbow. Even if there are obstacles along the course, the only important thing would be to find the treasure in the dirt. Who said life was a bed of roses? No, I daresay not. There's always that dark horse of old whose only goal is to create obstacles. His one desire is to see you go down. As long as you are in this world, there will be challenges. But, you know what? Christ died to make your challenges nil. Zilch. Zero. Blank. Nul. Nada. Void. As if they never even existed. Victorious is what you are.

Just a Glimpse of Him

See, if we can just catch a glimpse of Him daily, then we will only see His face throughout the whole day. And if we can only see His face, then we can only carry His own yoke and not ours. And if we only carry His own yoke, then ours would become obsolete. Instead of heaviness, we will feel light. Instead of aggravation, we will become gentle. Instead of heartache, we will be overcome with laughter and joy. It takes daily reminders, sometimes we forget to catch a glimpse of Him.

You may wonder why certain people smile all the time. And even if they cry sometimes, they still break into a dance once morning comes. Why shouldn't they? It's great to know that there are real people out there that genuinely smile because they've found God. They can't wake up and focus their entire day on something they can't fix themselves. No, their eyes are continuously on the Master Potter. And suddenly what they couldn't fix becomes fixed because they praised Him through the storm. They are constantly aware of His power and capacity to do the impossible. Instantly, you wonder why they don't seem suicidal. You fidget with your fingers when you find out how that problem was so big but you never even noticed. You should stop trying to notice. You'll never find trouble in their homes. Never. They've given it all to God. They've let go, and ultimately they've let God invade their lives in a way that only Him can.

Stop now. Consider your own days. Are they fulfilling? Stop now. Take His yoke. Take it, take it. It's here right now for you. Don't try to find it in the wrong places. Today, I pray that the only face you will look upon will be the face of Jesus.


Prepare Your Horse for the Day of Battle | An Ode

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
Train it to be smart
Teach it to spot the enemy
Brush the hairs on its skin till they are smooth like silk
Let it neigh till the sun goes down
No sleep till the day's work is over

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
Be hardworking
Don't quit
Even if you are weary
Pick up your armor and do it again
There will be no horse like yours on that day

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
But when that day comes
Rise up in the morning with full confidence
Knowing the glory belongs to God
Rise up to do your best
But know God holds the Master Plan

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
But when that day comes
The strength will not be from the horse...or the rider
The strength will come from God
And the victory will be through God

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
But God decides what will happen
Guess what?
Whatever He decides at the battle field
Better than your choice could have ever been
Because He has seen the end from the beginning
He knows the plot inside and out
You can prepare all you want
But when that day comes
Give it all to the ONE who knows it ALL

Prepare your horse for the day of battle
But when you get to that day
Just let God, the Master AUTHOR write your victory story

Proverbs 21:31
"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, 
But deliverance is of the Lord."

God created us for His glory. No, you and I were not created to be mediocre. We are made in the image of a mighty God who surely has already orchestrated wonderful victories in our lives. The verse in Proverbs 21 speaks of preparing a horse for the day of battle. To me, this implies that anyone going to a battle field has work to do. You don't just wake up in the morning, sing a lullaby, and head to the battle field. No, a war requires years and years of training. It doesn't matter what the weather is like at boot camp.

You train under the scorching heat of the sun or while drenched in soaking rain. All for one fine day of battle. You suck in your breath, raise your legs, and jump through hoops. You climb up on wobbly ropes and slippery walls. You drag your tired self through the mud until you can no longer feel the blood rushing through your veins. You hold your breath as you swim through murky waters until you reach the target. 

That's how we are to train in this world. As children of the most High, there are daily battles to fight, and there are always victories to be won. So yes, of course we have to prepare the horse for the day of battle. We have to immerse ourselves daily in the Word. Pick up our armor. Practice how to use the gear. We have to surround ourselves with Godly people. We have to confess the Word into every atmosphere we come into. But friend, you know what caught my eye in that Proverbs 21:31 verse? That no matter how finely the horse is prepared for the day of battle, the deliverance is indeed of the Lord!

When it comes to that amazing day of victory, God knows exactly how He wants to write your story. You can prepare all you want (you should prepare, if you know that other proverb that says we should look at how the ants store up food for winter). Oh yes, you should have the spirit of excellence in every single thing that you do and in every place you find yourself. But when it comes down to how the story plays out, please sit back, relax, and let your Father unveil the story He has already written about you in the volumes of His book. Your life has been carefully orchestrated. Paths you're meant to take. People you are meant to meet. Lives you are meant to change. And accomplishments and awards you are meant to get. Prepare your horse. Your preparation is extremely important because the lessons you learn during training will help you on the day of battle. But, my dear, don't force things. Just trust God to unveil your victory. Let Him take the pieces of the puzzle and put them together being the wonderful Craftsman that He is.

Hallelujah. God be glorified in your life, and in mine, Praise His great name.

Love, J.


Image by B. Fröberg on Flickr

Long ago, in the middle of this muddy, dirt-stained, red soil stood a very functional railroad. Quadejah could see what she thought were the remains of loops of rusty brown metal. The stones scattered about were still the same — white and brown stones dispersed like sand, both to the left and right of the railroad. She stood in the middle, where the vertical lines intersected with the horizontal. Bending down, she dug her hand into the earthy mud, picked up a couple of stones, and gently rubbed them together.

She smiled. Once upon a time, she was sixteen. Running wild and free through these Southern grasslands with a group of three. One was a red-head, her best friend, Kaitlyn. And the other was a young man named Ali. He had really bushy afro hair and never combed it, no matter how much they begged or laughed. To be honest, back then they had no cares in life, only high spirits. They used to come here every weekend when there was no school. She remembered they would sit at the far end of the wall holding hands and playing Truth or Dare. Most times, they would choose "truth" and tell stories until it was really dark and past time for supper.

The wall. She looked up and saw that great wall of old. All the memories came flooding back. One day they had dipped their right hands in three different colors of paint they'd carried from papa's backyard and dared themselves to etch their fingerprints on the wall. She got up and started running toward the wall.

"Ten steps to the right, seven slippers high, and three butterflies left," she said out loud, tracing her fingers up and to the left.

When she saw those dirty fingerprints again it was like a window opened from her heart and she started laughing like a child until tears streamed down her face and her nose began to trickle.

"Ma'am," she heard a voice calling from behind her. She had forgotten he was standing there, watching her. He must be very amused by now. "It's almost time for the meeting," he said.

"Oh," she whispered. She didn't want to leave the graffiti wall just yet, but as CEO of Que&Co., she had a lot of important matters to attend to and critical decisions to make today. She smiled, nodding to her driver. "Thanks, you can get the car started now. I'll be right behind you."

She looked up at the wall again. She felt very satisfied, happy to have visited her young memories once again. A deep sigh escaped from her lips. Well, the stones will always be here. The fingerprints will always be etched ten steps to the right, seven slippers high, and three butterflies left. All she needed to do was come back as many times as she wanted. All she had to do was remember.

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"And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “...Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." Joshua 4: 1-3, 21-24

We live in a society where the hustle and bustle of our careers and the dreams of our future can cause us to forget the goodness of the Lord. Many of us have seen testimony after testimony, but yet in searching for the next level we forget. Today, God wants us to remember the graffiti on the wall.

If He was with you in the past, He is with you today, and if you let Him, He will be with you in your future. He is, indeed, steadfast in love. An unfailing God. There's nothing worse than a day without Him. Doing things by ourselves is so much more difficult and chaotic.

Don't forget the Lord and what He has done in your life. As you move forward in life, remember the stones & graffiti of the goodness of the Lord throughout your life up until now, and seek instead to put God first higher than all your desires. By putting Him first, He will grant you so many more joyful memories. God is faithful. Praise God!