Have you ever heard of the phrase, "Lay it down."?
Has anyone ever told you, "Just lay it all down."?
What do these words mean? What does this phrase tell us?
lay- macmillan dictionary
1-[transitive] to put someone or something down in a careful way, especially so that they are lying flat
2-[transitive] to carefully plan and prepare something that will be needed in the future to achieve an aim
a rhythmic series of musical tones arranged to give a pleasing effect <the minstrel strummed a cheerful lay on his lute
I can go on and on about the different meaning I found. The ones below are the most commonly understood meanings for lay. (Put something or someone down carefully.) Hmmmm, what do I have in my life that I need to place down, carefully?
The next meaning tells me that to lay means to plan and prepare something I am going to need later on. Lay down, such as planning, because I am looking forward to achieving a goal. Well, let's see, what do I have to plan, lay down, with the understanding that I am laying it down with a purpose?
We say, "I lay down my life before you Lord." "I lay down my heart, my will, my future and my family before you, Lord."
And so we begin to do so with the mentality that that which is placed carefully before the Lord is probably those important people in our lives, our jobs, our homes and even our emotions. We take those areas in our lives that are delicate, in need of being taken care of in a special way, and we lay them at the feet of Jesus.
There's a hope, a goal, something that we look forward to as we lay it all down. Believers will immediately identify with their eternal lives with Jesus in heaven. But, what about right now? As much as I look forward to my future according to scriptures, I also believe we can lay it all down with an expectation that is not far away. We carefully place our prayers before the Lord.
|photo copied from http://www.123rf.com/photo_7887460_ballet-dancer-laying-on-floor-over-a-white-background.html|
The last definition I thought was interesting to add to what lay means, has to do with music. A rhytmic series of musical tones arranged to give a pleasing affect. I can't see this any other way than a dancer, with all her/his heart and passion slowly and ever so beautifully taking their very own lives and placing it down. I also see the dancer who moves vibrantly as seen in an African dance, in a continual motion, surrendering their all before their audience, their audience of One.
I see Jesus as the perfect example of laying it all down. He says he lays down his life, our of his own will, not because anyone was forcing him to do so, but out of his love for the world. He lays it down and then shares this future plan, this hope that he gives humanity. He lays it down but will take it back and rise again. In order to truly give us a future, he allows death to have a moment in his life as he lays it all down- His Kingdom, Being who He Is and Was, His last breath, yes, he lays it all down, not once running away, but always looking ahead, thinking of human hearts, thinking about resurrection.
Is God asking us to lay our lives down unto death? Not the same death he experienced, but we are to die to ourselves and arise in the new life that Christ laid out for us. We can lay our lives down and live continually placing our lives before Him like a never ending dance, a prayer of surrender to the Lord. We need to look at our expected end. We also need to have a hope, not just a very far away hope after we leave this world as all humans must at one time, take our last breath. But, God invites us to lay down our lives, lay out a plan, and listen to the music of his heart, his calling, and dance as the music leads us to. We also are asked to be confident and not afraid as we come and lay it all down before the cross.
What are you still holding on to? Lay it down.
What is still heavy on your shoulders, your heart and your mind? Lay it down.
What is the extra baggage you and I are still clinging on to, holding on for dear life because we believe if we let it go, our lives will be completely altered? Lay it down.
This is what I ask the Lord to help me to accomplish.
Lord, help me to lay down the things in my life that weigh me down and don't let me breathe and move forward, so that I can truly lay down a new plan for my life and know that my future, my tomorrow and my next days are truly in your care. Help me Lord to freely release every care, ever fear, every insecurity, any areas of un-forgiveness and bitterness, even things I cannot see, help me move to the beat of your music, and place it all down at the foot of the cross.