Essentially midway through the two week period that marks the anniversary of my sequential arrest, heroin detox, and salvation in the Wayne County Jail (Detroit), I have been in much thought. These thoughts have not only been occurring as of late, but ongoing for the past month or so. It is just now, during this time of gratitude, memorial, and reflection that it starts making more sense than it did four years ago.
Since it was merely a two week period spent awaiting the Lord (as I did not know that's what I was doing), there was little time to do any other thing than think of the pain caused to others by me, the magnitude and seriousness of my crimes, the future implications of the life I had previously led, the HIV and blood test results that had yet to arrive, and total fear of release back into the world again. During some points, there were thoughts that led to a preference of remaining incarcerated, at least by this I knew what to expect each day in and day out.
Let it be understood that I could meditate and elaborate for hours and on many things concerning my feelings regarding this period of my life. But to this day let it be known that this period is one I hold in high esteem and regard it highly unto the Lord. It marks His advent (coming) into my life and redeeming me from what was a horrible existence physically, but most importantly; what was becoming a horrible life eternally. In my sin, He showed me grace.
Following this salvation, this act of mercy, this great work of God wrought in the life of a sinner who had once thought himself unworthy of forgiveness, what was to come? What is to come in any believer following their conversion? Just what is required of them now that they have professed Christ? What kinds of circumstances follow conversion that encourage or hinder the believer in sanctification?
I ask all these questions with personal reference as well as reference to all who name Christ as Lord. Is there a set standard that determines the rate of development believers are to endure? Is there a pace that is set and held to in order to determine the legitimacy of one's confession? Who's side of the yoke is heavier ours or Christ's? In bearing the burden and enduring the walk of a Christian, I would contend that Christ's yoke being easy, and His burden light, He is bearing and has already bore a majority of the load and has essentially made it easier for us to bear through His finished work.
Christ stated that His yoke would be easy and burden light; directly referencing the yoke the Pharisees and Scribes were laying upon people through the law of Moses and their unbearable burden greatly magnified by the ceremonial and traditional burden that was added, Christ makes it clear that this is not what He requires. Matthew 11:28-30 show just what the Lord meant by this, and picturing two oxen yoked together shows us how a load is bore. Although the load is taken upon two yoked together, this does not necessarily equate the two as being of equal stature or capability, it merely means they are yoked together.
Think about it, I'll be back with more in the following days. I have been deep in thought and consulting the Scriptures daily as I examine these things and the Lord has shown me through His Word many wonderful things.