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The Rope and the Rags...
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The
Burns
Journal

April 2018

 

The Rope and the Rags


“…So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to a room in the palace beneath the treasury, where he found some old rags and discarded clothing…”

Jeremiah 38:11

 

Why open with a verse about an ancient Ethiopian digging around for old clothes? Let me set the stage:

No food. No water. The city is in chaos.

Brawls break out over waning supplies, and boulders hurled over the wall crash into ruined buildings and broken streets. Evil officials gloat that they have finally silenced the nay-sayer. 

Wind whistles through the tattered awnings and collapsing structures that once formed the border of a sunny, bustling market.  Now there is no sun. The air is thick with smoke.




Having been dumped into a yawning, dark hole in the ground where he remains trapped,
Jeremiah grows desperate.

His voice grows hoarse and his cries are drowned out by the noise of a city under siege. Unseen, unheard, he sinks deeper into rotting sludge; deeper toward the slow, almost certain death of God's message and his last faithful servant...

                 

 

Enter Ebed-melech,

an official of the court who catches wind of Jeremiah’s situation, and makes a bee-line to the palace.
 

He, too, is facing crisis. He, too, feels the lack of food and the siege on the city wall. The crumbling system and the swarming Babylonian army pressing in on every side.

It is not from a place of security and safety that he reaches out to help. But even in the midst of his own concerns, he notices Jeremiah.

 

He bursts into the palace, exclaims to an already over-tasked king that Jeremiah has been placed in desperate straits, and gains permission to take men and go rescue him.

Then they go, not straight-away to the cistern, but to a lower room in the palace and
they start to scavenge rags.


 

I read it and thought,  How resourceful, they must not have any rope. I bet they’ll tie them end-to-end and use that to get him out.
 

But I was wrong.
They had enough rope.
Ebed-melech took the detour for another reason:

 

“…He carried these to the cistern and lowered them to Jeremiah on a rope. Ebed-melech called down to Jeremiah, “Put these rags under your armpits to protect you from the ropes!” Then when Jeremiah was ready, they pulled him out…”

Jeremiah 38:11-13
 

It’s a small detail, but something about it caught inside me, and I've been mulling it over for days.

There’s a guy stranded in the bottom of a well, starving and sinking, and his rescuer’s first thought is not the rope they need to get him out,
but the rags they need to protect his skin.

All the thoughts that must have been pressing in on his own burdened mind, and yet he goes out of his way for rags, because raw rope on raw skin would probably be uncomfortable. 

All the noise pressing in on Jerusalem, and yet Jeremiah did not go unheard; because the living God was listening to his cry.

And there is no one who can arrange the details
more perfectly than He.

 


From Beka's Journal



As I look at my own hard things and identify what has been rope, and what has been rags, I find keep running into this:

Our God is kind, He is in the details, and the smallest things that affect my heart do not escape His notice.

 
*photo credit: Joy Burrows
 

Other Updates

 
May. Graduation is in MAY! We are officially two months out!

Thank you for standing with us, supporting us and praying for us through flight training! We couldn't be here without you! Please keep praying for us as Cody tackles these last difficult instrument flights and concepts.
Cody's Thoughts on Flight Training

We're planning to stay in Spokane through December so Cody can complete flight instructor training before we head out.

Then we get to SEE YOU!
We'll have several months to travel, re-connect, share songs and raise funds starting in January, and we are looking forward to the chance to catch up and spend time together!

Shoot us an email (or just reply) if you already know you'd like us to come visit you, your group, or your church. It'll help us plan our route!


I'm still enjoying work on the helicopter. It's a stressful but precious learning process, full of lessons on what it means to give kindness, not just help - to tend to the small things, not just the emergencies, especially in those early morning hours. Pray for me as I learn!

Bonus! My job paid for me to go to a Critical Care Medical conference in San Antonio this week! (yay!). 



On my off days, I have continued testing out and tweaking Flawed Judges, a short devotional I'm planning to release soon. I'm new at this, entering into the mystifying world of book proposals, publishing paths...and basically taking myself seriously as a writer. 

Please pray for us as we discern next steps in this. We are excited to see how the Lord uses it, and we are holding tight to the truth that
He does not waste what we give to Him. 




Thank you for how encouraging and supportive you have been in this! If you have connected with my writing and find yourself wanting more,

you can visit and subscribe to my blog here.

I post something almost every week, and my goal is to offer hope, encouragement, and the gentle challenge to dig deep and draw close.

We have a God who is so worth it!

We Love You! Thanks for reading!

Love,
Cody & Beka




 
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Sanford, FL 32771

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