Monthly Archives: December 2016

Come To Me!

dsc_0969By Judy Villanueva

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.”

I couldn’t have been more than seven years old when I first noticed these words inscribed across the altar at church.  They seemed to jump out at me every Sunday as if teasing me to unwrap their meaning.  As a child, I imagined that coming to God and taking His “easy” yoke meant that my life would be carefree and full of laughter and love.  Indeed, it has been this but, not only this.  Life tends to pulse with both joys and sorrows and unwrapping Truth happens in layers, doesn’t it?

We plumb for its richness as we trust and agree to come, even when can’t see where we are going.

As this year comes to a close I find myself weary and particularly grateful for Jesus’ invitation to “Come”.  He knows that carrying heavy burdens weighs us down and bids us trade our wearisome loads for His yoke that is easy and light.  To be yoked is to be bound to a burden that must then be dragged around, much like oxen tied to an iron plow. But, think of it!

To be bound to Jesus is to be tethered to God!

It is to agree to submit to and learn from the One who is gentle and humble in heart.  At first glance, this passage appeals to our need of rest, but a second look reveals a layer of love that invites us to soul-shaping surrender!

The One who came… calls us to come!

Come to the One who came for you!  Come rest in His love.  Come learn from His humble heart. Come lean on Him every day and in everything! Let Him help you hold your life and unwrap the power of His Word for each day.  He knows how to carry heavy loads and can help us find rest for our weary souls.  I want to trade my yoke of worry for His yoke of peace.  I want to learn how to live well by being tethered to the One who loves me, who knows what it is to be weary and who paid a dear price for my rest.

“Jesus, thank you for reaching out to me when I was young and for helping me find my way to You. Help me to come to you today with all that burdens me and trust You. Thank you for being my place of rest. Amen.”

What about you?

Are you weary from carrying heavy burdens?  What are you dragging around?

Have you heard Jesus call you to come?  Are you in need of His rest?

Are you ready to trade your burdens for His yoke of love?

Listen for His voice that calls you to come.  God cares that you are weary and in need of rest.

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

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God is Light

20161211_173616By Judy Villanueva

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1John 1:5) 

Even the darkness is not dark to You,                                                                                                And the night is as bright as the day. (Psalm 139:12)

Bang!  The sound thundered in the night and woke me from a deep sleep.  I could hear snow pelting against the window and thought I’d imagined flashes of light through the curtains.  The wind seemed to hurl itself against the wall as though determined to break into our bedroom.  It was 4:00 am and shaken awake, I was now curious to see what exactly was going on outside, so I got up! My sense of hearing told me a stormy story but I could see nothing in the darkness outside my window.  Absolutely nothing! In a way, this is how parts of life feel right now.  I can’t see what’s in front of me and much as I press my nose against the window of tomorrow and strain to know the “what”, “where”, and “how” of it, it remains hidden.

My choice is to bang around in the dark and try to see what I cannot or trust that God, who is Light, sees everything, everywhere, all the time.

That God is light is a blessed reality!  NOTHING can hide from Him and NO THING is unknown to Him!  We, being human, experience darkness when the sun goes down, when we don’t understand a thing, or when something is hidden from us.  Most of our fears hide in the dark of unknowing.  What frightens you?  What threatens your peace?  AW Tozer once said that “What we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Knowing that God IS light chases our fears into the middle of a holy radiance that shatters the darkness!  

Life might sound like a stormy story and we may not be able to see through the night, but we can keep trusting that even the darkness is not dark to God…it is as bright as day!  We can keep receiving His gifts of light and let each ray shine on our doubts and fears.  On that stormy morning I sat by the glow of a warm fire and watched the sun defeat darkness yet again!  It became God’s literal Word of light to me!  Can you hear it?

“HOPE!”

God is Light.  He can see in the dark!  He knows what’s in front of us and will always be faithful to defeat the darkness and be our daily Light!

“Father, I am deeply comforted that You are light. It quiets my fears and gives me strength in the dark places. Thank you that you keep seeing what’s in front of me. It’s all lit up! Help me to notice your gifts of light today. Amen.”

How about you? 

What frightens you? What threatens your peace?

Have you ever noticed that light brings hope?

How does the sun coming up make you feel? What about candlelight, twinkling stars, or moonlight?

How might knowing that God is light be important in your life?

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

Worship