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Follow me. Just dance …

Follow me. Just dance …

Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, 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

"Christ Dancing on the Sea of Galilee" by Heimo Christian Haikala - 1999

Periodically, the Holy Spirit brings a precious encounter with Jesus to my memory. This morning, it happened again, and I’d like to share:

Years ago, I was experiencing an extremely challenging season in ministry and was seeking God’s direction. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, while on a Discipleship and Ministry trip in Brazil, our group went to an exquisitely beautiful place known as “The Rock.” We gathered on an incredible ledge and outcropping, overlooking the water. There, we had our Bible study. Afterwards Pastor Rick, our gifted leader, following the prompting of the Holy Spirit, gave me some very challenging counsel and direction. I was stunned by his words and remember Adam, my dear brother in Christ, sitting next to me on the bus ride back to the mission, trying to help me make sense of the spoken charge. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I was in an emotional and spiritual place of dis-ease; very unsettled, restless, in a tizzy. I prayed- or tried to- as I listened to worship music but felt very conflicted.

Sunday morning, we worshipped in the old mission church. Pastor Rick called me to sit up front next to the Pastor- a place of honor- looking out at the small congregation. I resented that placement, because I certainly didn’t feel like much of an honored leader at the time. The Lord of the Dance had a different message for me, however. During the service, we Americans were instructed to pair with Brazilians and pray together. As a member of the band and I finished praying on the small stage, I stood there silently pleading with God, referring to the counsel I was given the previous day. “Just how am I supposed to do that,” I cried. At that moment, I looked through my tears out into the small congregation, and saw Adam praying with an elderly woman, holding her hands in a gentle dance position. Their cheeks touching, I watched him lovingly whisper in her ear, their bodies slowly swaying together to the music. Their faces exuded a divine, peaceful beauty- so otherworldly that it took my breath away. All I could do was stare, with my hand over my heart, as tears flowed. It was then that I heard Jesus speak into my spirit, “Follow Me. Just dance.” My question was answered.

Friends, today I am reminded once again to let Jesus lead in the dance of life, gently flowing through the ups and downs-together. Be encouraged! Know that He is leading you through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit. Feel Him near you, holding you, guiding and directing you, lovingly whispering words of love. You don’t have to have it all figured out! You don’t have to lead! Choose to follow Jesus, allowing Him to be the Lord of your dance.

“Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said He. And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you all in the dance, said He.”
Lord of the Dance
Words by Sydney Carter, 1963