The Unmapped Road Of The Disciple

“If you follow Jesus.. you can expect to..Go where you’ve never been, Do what you’ve never done, Give more than you’ve ever given, Surrender what you’ve held tightly, Love those you’ve never loved before, Forgive those you’ve failed to forgive, Trust Him for what you’ve never trusted Him before, Become what you’ve never been.”

In a sermon by Charles Stanley

These words depict my life in the past two years. In March of 2011 my husband went to be with Lord. Since then I have written and published three books, something unplanned. In March of this year, I stepped out of my comfort zone even more and accepted an invitation, to be one of the featured authors, at the Tucson Book Event, held at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. I did a book signing of my autobiography, “A Path Through.”

Two weeks ago my daughter had surgery, became infected with a Super bug and was not expected to live. But my God, listening to the prayers of many people, intervened and she is getting better every day, ahead of what the Doctors predicted. She still has a long road ahead of her to regain her strength but she is alert and breathing on her own, without the respirator, for which we give God credit. He has a plan for her life!

She has a four old boy who needs care and a husband who needs to work, sometimes out of town. I am planning to fill in where I need to, in their home, which is something I have never done before. My children are grown and I was feeling comfortable in my cozy, cocoon where the weather is warmer. It’s not easy to “surrender what I have held tightly.”

As His disciple I choose to follow this unmapped road. I choose to trust Him for what I have never trusted Him before. This is not the safe, uncluttered road I planned. The old me would be afraid, would consider my losses. But this is the me, that wants to follow the Master, Who only did what His Father asked Him to do. This is the road of the best life!

The Life Of The Disciplined Disciple

In Matthew 11:28-30 we have the record of Jesus’ words to His disciples, “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.”

The way I have always heard this explained is that, we are yoked to Jesus like two oxen would have been yoked together to plow a field. His yoke is easy because He is carrying most of the burden on His shoulders. I never understood how carrying any yoke could be easy because it’s work. But, recently I heard an explanation of the yoke which made a lot of sense to me.

Bobby Schuller, speaking on the “Hour of Power” broadcast, said the yoke would be the teaching of the Master which his disciples would follow. He would say to them, “Come and be my disciple. Come and be yoked to me.” The disciple would take on the Master’s teaching. This makes sense of the words of Jesus, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.”

In a way He was saying, “As you follow My teaching and example of humility and gentleness you will be at peace.” He promised never to give us more than we can bear, that’s the rest we can have. The disciple wanted to be like the Master so he followed him everywhere he went, listening intently to his words, observing his actions. He walked and talked so much like the Master that people who met him could probably tell whose disciple he was.

Jesus is still calling to us, to me, to you, “Come to Me, take My yoke, learn from Me. I will teach you how to live the best life possible.” Come, take, words which challenge me. It’s an offer I don’t want to miss. I need rest from my weariness. I need to carry only the burden that I know is from Him. I lay down all other burdens.

Can others see any of Jesus in me? Do they recognize Who my Master is by my words and actions? I’m not perfect, but as I absorb more of the Master’s teaching, I will become more like Him.

Life

What is life? It’s a mixture
Of joys and of sorrows.
It’s not a fixture.

It’s a mixture, a muddle,
Some storms and some sunshine.
It’s all in a puddle.

There are seasons, it’s true,
Of dry times and desert,
Then patches of dew.

It’s uphill and downhill,
Now this way, then that.
There’s no constant thrill.

On the oceans of life
My boat is so small.
I can’t float without strife.

But my anchor’s secure in the squall.
With Christ at the helm, I’ll get through it all!

© Janna Olsen Spratt

I’ll Give You A Child

I’ll give you a child
For a little while,
To hold and to love
And to make your heart smile.

I’ll give you a child
To laugh with and cry with,
To teach and to train,
To hold in your heart
And from fear to refrain.

Give them roots so they’re grounded,
Give them wings, strong and able.
Help them grow in their faith,
Let them feed at My table.

For I am their Shepherd, not you.
I give them to you for a very short time,
To pray for, to mold, and to give them your best.
You share their journey, but this child is Mine!

© Janna Olsen Spratt

The morning of May 16, 2013 I was praying for my daughter who is fighting for her very life in ICU, in a hospital in this city. I remember some of the events in her life beginning with her becoming my daughter. Sometimes she caused me to laugh and sometimes she caused me to cry, but always I am aware that she is not mine, she belongs to God. I wrote this poem as I felt it spoken to my spirit. I felt the Lord saying to me, “No matter what happens, you do not control your child’s life. It’s in My hands as it always has been!”