Morning Bible Reading: I Didn’t Know Zechariah Knew the Wizard of Oz

Like old folks are prone to do, I wake up mighty early in the morning these days. I blame it on thyroid and sugar, not age. We all have to keep our little fantasies, huh. Keeps us viable and delusional. Maybe delusional keeps us viable. That’s a subject to be ruminated upon.

Anyway, here’s the not-quite-dawn of my morning at a quarter to five — a.m. you know. Yawn. After as-quiet-as-possible ablutions I started with Bible reading by lamplight. That didn’t work for my ag– uh, unfocused — eyes, so I turned on the kitchen lights behind me. Didn’t want to interrupt Mike’s snoozing. He’s still a working man.

I started with King James because I like the beautiful old language, and it opens automatically to well-traveled passages. But since I was reading in Zechariah I needed some background so I crept into the office to find Mike’s Apologetics Bible. What a wonderful surprise. The text type was bolder and larger and helped my ag– uh, my eyes focus better. And I was dying to know who this Zerubbabel was (governor of Judah). I also found out that the Joshua here wasn’t the son of Nun, but the son of Somebody Else, and that they were returning exiles.

There are some pretty wild visions in Zechariah, including the Wizard of Oz’s horses of a different color — this could be entertaining reading even for non-professors of Christianity. But the thrust of the entertaining message was “You people should go back to making God a major shareholder in your lives — as well as the CEO”. He was saying, “Maybe things aren’t going right in the success department because you aren’t doing right”. They relied only on their own efforts at making a go of rebuilding their lives and ignored God, the Creator of it all. It’s about like having a direct line to Bill Gates when you have computer problems, but you just ignore him and muddle through as best you can. Duh. How dumb is that.

So I got my verse to remember for today:

Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord. — Zechariah 4:6

Gosh, that’s good to remember. Especially since my strength these past couple of years has failed me. The Mighty Linda in me has fizzled out like air from a too-taut balloon. I was always “The Little Engine That Could”, and that’s a good thing, as long as God is the one providing both the tracks and the power. Sometimes we can run too fast and too hard, pushing for some kind of impossible goal that wasn’t God’s to begin with, trying to be all things to all people. Somewhere along the line the track got switched while I just chugged along trying harder.

I never quite understood what Jesus meant when he said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). My yoke and my burden has wound up nearly killing me mentally, physically, and spiritually. But now I think it has a lot to do with two things — (1) don’t take on the wrong yoke and the wrong burden, or too many yokes and burdens, bearing so many of other people’s responsibilities that you’re crushed under the load; and (2) that you do cast your burden upon Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). And, though sometimes we feel like He’s a million miles away, just lounging around on the right hand of God, the Bible says He’s “a VERY present help in time of trouble” as well as “our refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1)

“Be still “, He says, “and know that I am God.” — (Psalm 46:10)

And be happy that you and I are not.

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