A Little Less Messy
This world is a mess. BUT. You have to love the “but” in God’s economy. The apostle Paul gives list to the evidence of God – in us. We the redeemed. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal 5:22-23a, NLT – emphasis mine).
Other translations render gentleness as meekness. Meekness, many know it as “strength under control.” It is an active and deliberate positive response to an undesirable circumstance. Positive is the key. Although a negative may be merited – positive is the choice. What a good God concept. Yet it is more. It is responding from the inwrought grace of the soul. Not just the inward grace of the soul, that it dwells there – but INWROUGHT.
Inwrought is not a word we use much today or use at all. Oh but, it has the most beautiful imagery. It is intricately woven material with a particular pattern. (Of fabric or woodwork, stonework, and metal). It is the adding of another element, working it into the material. Meekness is the evidence of God’s grace worked into our soul. What a lovely delicate yet vibrant embroidery, God’s grace woven in and throughout the pattern of our life. The beauty is that it all becomes one piece of material. To take this additional element out would leave holes – gaping, ripping holes.
HOW do we get this woven into us – to come out? Come out when our merited moments present themselves – controlled gracious responses? Three words: Holy Spirit and – yoke.
In ancient days, a disciple would attach themselves to a Rabbi. The Rabbi’s hope was that their disciples would walk close, listen, and learn. Live as they did. Each Rabbi would present their teaching, this is known as the Rabbi’s “yoke of Torah.” (their teaching, interpretation, and application). Their disciples would accept it and emulate it. Over the course of the Rabbinic progression through the years, many Rabbi’s would inflate, even create additional commandments. To follow and align with them caused great burden on the disciple. This sheds light on Jesus’ words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” (Matt 11:28-30). Many times, we read Jesus saying, “You have heard it said, but I say to you.” Aside from the current teaching, “I say walk close, listen and learn of …Me.” Jesus’ burden is light.
The yoke is a symbol of servitude. When researching the actual yoke and the training of an ox for more understanding, I found that fitting the ox with the yoke, it is BEST that the ox raise its head up into the yoke for the most comfortable and profitable fit. This comes with time and trust, that the animal is willing to voluntarily lift their head to the master. If forced down, the fit could cause irritation, causing the ox to lean, favoring one side and possible altering the direction of their steps.
Yes, this world is a mess. And we may have merited moments of opportunity from time to time. What a challenge. A challenge to give the world a good God quality. We are disciples of Jesus. We allow and invite the Spirit’s leading and growth in our lives. We lift our head up into the yoke – Jesus’ yoke.
Lifting. Making the world a little less messy, one (yielded) opportunity at a time.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)