“Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus. It takes God a long times to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty-the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.” Oswald Chambers*
This has been a difficult year for me, politically, mentally and spiritually. I have been on a roller coaster ride in all three arenas.
Politically, I have been praying for our President and Congress while seeking the fragrance of truth and integrity. Sadly, I have only found the odor of hyperbole, obfuscation, misuse of power, outright lying and obstruction. I have felt overwhelmed and despairing at the lack congressional and faith-based disapproval of such behavior.
Mentally, I have swung back and forth between depression and hypomania. This has been challenging and painful for two reasons. One, I have bipolar 2 which comes with a ratio of 40:1 depression to hypomania. Depression has become a familiar companion – not so the cycling between them. Two, I have only experienced a lengthy hypomania cycle twice before, the last one more than twenty years ago. This new cycling has unnerved me because I haven’t yet been able to manage the manifestations.
Spiritually, I have bounced in and out of connection with the One who lives in me. It has taken me more time than usual to clear the fog so I can hear the voice of my sweet Shepherd. The Spirit is telling me I need to go back to basics, to the relational act of spending quiet time with him every morning, and I don’t know why I resist. I am certain I must do this, yet I continue to feel a push/pull; I know this is the enemy trying to pull me away from Love, from Grace, from Peace and Comfort.
“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” (John 10:10)
As I allow myself to breathe His breath, to feel His heart beating in mine, and to allow His thoughts and desires to become my own, my cares and concerns will lift off my shoulders. They will become His. The ever-beating rain I feel heavy upon my shoulders will become a cleansing ablution upon my body. I will instead feel only His yoke upon myself: the yoke of peace beyond understanding, of unconditional love and lavish grace.
In order to get there, I must let go. I must take a leap of faith. I must have faith in what I do not see. In order to get to letting go, I must remember the times my Father has held me in His strong, compassionate arms. I must evoke that feeling of safety and comfort again. In order to get to letting go, I must remember I am His beloved daughter; I am His precious treasure, and He cares for me. That is the measure of my life. And when I finally let go, I know Jesus is there to walk with me. I know the Spirit is in me to remind me of Jesus’ words.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
* ©1992, Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, May 6, Oswald Chambers Publications