Sometimes I need to be taken back.
In most instances when you hear this phrase, you think of a person standing in awe, surprise or even disgust by a sudden circumstance. It’s pretty much something that catches you off guard (this post is already full of metaphoric phrases 😄). Either way you describe it, its something we’re not prepared for.
I get taken back pretty often. Yes… I do encounter surprises here and there in my life…big and small. But the “taken back” I’m pointing to is more literal then the phase gives way to. In our everyday lives, it is so easy to get caught in the moment of our emotions, stresses and troubles that just seem to hit us like the wind…threatening to knock us over. Even though this “wind” may feel familiar, it is not a safe place to be. So it is in these moments that the Lord sends out a invitation. A invitation this world can’t offer. An invitation that is not always easy to accept. A invitation to step out of the comfort zone of my mind. A invitation to be taken back to the truth. The truth that has always been there and always will be, no matter where our lives or minds go. The truth our minds trick us into thinking we’re not “prepared” for, but will always be invited to.
I remember one night recently, I had a taken back moment. I had such a desire and plan in my mind to get things done after work. My heart had that desire, but my body didn’t. In reality, I was exhausted and just felt totally depleted of energy. So this ended up being the plan:
I woke up from my evening nap feeling discouraged and just ready to beat myself up, when the Lord grabbed the mental fist from me and said “Come to me for rest…” and reminded me of Matthew 11:28. While I do not have many verses in the Bible memorized word for word, I always seem to remember key words and phrases of verses and attach a mental sticky note of the book and at least one number of the chapter and verse where it’s found. I am so grateful for this gift of visual memory because the Lord always seems to take me back to theses verses when I find myself reading my feelings instead of reading the Bible.
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. (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
These verses have always been very familiar to me and I’ve always admired it. But I never truly meditated on it before. To be honest, I always read it and was kinda like “Jesus is my rest…awesome!” Not to say I underestimated this verse, but I always read it at the surface rather then letting the Lord reveal what He wanted to speak to me through it. This night was tempting not to be any different. But long after I closed the cover of my Bible, I could hear a few of Jesus’ words lift from the page into my heart.
Learn from me, Regina.
Mulling over these words, the Lord began to reveal to me what He was saying…
To learn from someone means to practice some sort of skill or knowledge they inquire. It also means to become more aware of something. To learn from Jesus means to practice His teachings, His actions…His LIFE and become more aware of it in our own lives.
When we think of learning, it takes most of us back to the days in school when we would sit at our desks, listening to a teacher talk about a lesson while our attention would go in and out… while taking notes and also doodling on the sides of our notebook paper. While the school is called a place of learning, that is not always what is happening there. God gives us His Word to learn about Him and this world, but even after reading it, learning is not always what happens afterwards either. How about the person on the road that cuts you off and curses at you? Are you going to learn from their actions or be different, hold your composure and let your gentleness being evident to ALL (Philippians 4:5). Or when that line in the checkout is taking a little bit longer then expected and the lady behind you taps you on the shoulder to invite you into her complaining and groaning. Are you going to take the invitation into her impatience or accept the fruit that the Spirit has so graciously given us? (Galatians 5:22-24). You see, leaning is more then just being in a environment or reading words that encourages learning, but rather an action. Learning is a decision to take what was taught at our school, church or in our own study time in the Bible and propel it into action in the realities of our everyday lives. We have a choice everyday to learn from many different avenues.
The Holy Spirit is inviting you. God knows learning from Him is not something that always comes naturally…especially in a world that thrives on taking revenge on every offence thrown at it. But God doesn’t expect us or even wants us to live His way on our own. Here comes the Holy Spirit. When Jesus ascended back to Heaven, you can just imagine how sad and confused the disciples probably felt. Their dear teacher, friend and Messiah was leaving them…physically. But Jesus promised He would never leave them or any other believer comfortless and alone.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever- (John 14:16 AMP)
I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. (John 14:18 AMP)
So what did leaning from Jesus mean for me that night? It meant for me to recognize His strength and not the lack of my own. It is not for me to accomplish what He has given me to do on my own…because learning from Jesus means I can experience His rest ( 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
No matter where you are, what you face, how you feel or who you are…you can learn from the Savior today. It doesn’t matter if church has been a place you’ve gone to before you learned how to walk or you’ve never opened a Bible in your life, God desires you to experience peace and wisdom in all aspects of life that comes from Him alone. Will you accept His invitation?
I love you and Jesus loves you more.
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. (Philippians 4:9 AMP)