What does okay look like? I mean when things are not okay you know, there is a dissonance within your soul, within the room, within a relationship, it’s just thick as butter in the air. Then the not okay shows up as a slight shift, the rolling in clouds, a whisper, a wind softly blowing rubbing you the wrong way. Your intuition tells you, shows you, the holy spirit guides you to the word of God, to prayer something to connect back to the source.
So what does it look like? Being okay?
The moment where it just is right.
Does is it mean a sunset where all family is healthy alive, and you are just in the midst a present imperfect, growing and healing moment? This constant exchange in my relationship with the Lord is something I believe I’d never experience.
14 years ago my 8th grade year I sat in my pre-algebra class . The teacher said, “Okay, we will be going through chapters 7-9.” She turned and wrote the first problem on the board. We wrote down the problem on our own paper and she went through how to do the problem step by step. We did about 3 problems together. “Now, this next one you’re going to do on your own.” She turned and put down the chalk.
I became a little nervous, but was confident enough to go ahead and finish the problem. The teacher made her rounds to each student checking the answer. She came to my desk, and traced her finger over my paper reading each step I took to solve the problem. I looked up at her and she smiled and continued walking to the next student.
“Okay class, it seems as though you are getting this, we’ll move on, but remember where you started. It will only get harder from here.” She turned and wrote on the board as we turned our textbooks from chapter 7.1 to 7.2.
I can still remember the moment I got stuck during homework in the process of learning these three chapters. Looking back there were time where I didn’t pay deep attention to what she was teaching because I was laughing with my friends or waiting for the bell to ring for lunch or the next class, needing a break. Or wondering what it means to actually live life on your own terms, no rules, no limits. Waiting for adulthood to come, and adulthood came.
I’ve learned that life, does not stop even if you do. Life continues to happen, life continues to go, classes, work, home life, personal trials, and community ones as well. Hindsight is always 20/20 and even though I could see the broken habits, what did not serve me in life anymore I still didn’t learn. There was and sometimes still is a heaviness that is carried within me, but just like my 8th grade teacher was patient with me even in not paying attention and sat down with me, I am thankful that Jesus does the same for us as we continue to learn, grow, and mature.
Come to me who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.- Matthew 11:28
This scripture has been explained all my life as you stopping what you are doing and you take a small sabbatical with the Lord. He states, “For my yoke is easy, my burden is light.” The oxen walk together two by two with a wooden yoke to keep them together as they walk in harmony. The yoke they carry it’s hard. The burden is heavy.
Jesus calls us close to him daily holding us in every moment of the day. What if this call is not for us to stop, but to break away from our toiling, of things that do not work and he exchanges our tiredness, and habits that lead to this weariness in well doing for his yoke that is easy, for his burden that is light? That is filled with ways higher than our ways and thoughts higher than our thoughts. Practical principles that form habits that allow us to truly rest, to trust in him, to lean on him, depend on him fully, and grow. Having the faith to see with eyes closed, to feel beyond the unstable waters of emotions. Keeping us steady and steadfast in him.
The beginning of Isaiah 61:3 writes as this, “…To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Isaiah was stating the purpose of why the God had sent him, what God was going reach out and do through him. He began to prophesy.
“…To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
This exchange happens with God the father and as we reach through our Lord and savior Jesus. This surrender of what burdens, a surrender of a soul. To all who mourn in Zion. Our relationship with Jesus as all relationships is an exchange. Not out of fear, obligation, or dutifulness, but out of what drew you to Jesus in the first place intimacy and love. In this consistent exchange there is a question from the Jesus, “Can I have this?” A more willingness to help carry a load together, taking the load off completely, or even Jesus allowing us to carry the load in order to heal or grow us.
It is the dying daily to oneself as we all should do who love the Lord.
So what does okay look like?
How does it appear after this exchange?
The last part of Isaiah 61:3 writes as, “… that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” The exchange with Christ plants us deeper in righteousness, plants us deeper in him. Not for our sake, but for his glorification so that he can do a work in us. For he is the potter I am the clay, he is the vine we are the branches.
Suddenly okay becomes this attentive Lord to our particular needs, to all who mourn who carry the heavy burden to his glorification through the exchange, because as we are planted through the trial we become more like him.
Isn’t that the point, to be more like him so that we can eternally be with him? Isn’t it the point as we serve God we are serving more than ourselves? That we are called to be close to him and follow as his holy spirit leads? That he cares so deeply for us that he not only meets our needs, but deals with the shadows and heaviness of life. Exchanging the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise.
So that in the midst of the keep going narrative, the burden baring mourning situations of life, as we keep showing up Jesus keeps surrounding us through his holy spirit. We keep showing up and he keeps asking, “Can I have that?” And gives you something to praise him about, something light to carry even in the midst of physical, mental heaviness. He gives you something you can be thankful for, Amen. Allowing that next step to be filled with purpose, growth, and healing. His word a is lamp unto your feet and light unto your path, and step by step the burden there, is light and the yoke, is easy.