Monday, January 18, 2016

Pastures That Are Green

The snow was falling while I stood by the church door, burst of cold air swirling around my face as people trickled in, a small amount at the early service, the weather keeping most people at home. My heart was heavy as my high heels dug into my ankles and I shifted from foot to foot regretting the shoe choice below my gray dress pants. I held out bulletins and greeted people with a good morning. Someone asked me how my week was and I smiled and said, fine, how was yours? And they said, would you admit it, if it wasn't fine? And I laughed and inside I thought, no, I really wouldn't. 

Gypsy Slow Down

Before church I sat on my bed and did my morning devotions, something I've been consistent about in this new year and something I couldn't imagine giving up now that I've started. A book recommended by E.E has been a little gem to me, first published in 1901, in a language you have to read slowly to understand. I was teary and frustrated and the little scripture above the quote was; 

"Ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done saith the Lord God," Ezekiel xiv. 23

and part of the quote went like this...

"...Knowing us better than we know ourselves, fully understanding how greatly we are affected by the outward events and conditions of life, He has ordered them with a view to our entire and final, not only our immediate, happiness; and whenever we can be safely trusted with pastures that are green, and waters that are still, in the way of earthly blessing, the Good Shepard leads us there." Anthony W. Thorold

Gypsy Slow Down

Aislinn and Pepper

Witt had a job to do after church, work he usually avoids on Sundays, but off he went and I sat on the couch, crocheting yet another baby blanket for yet another person, another shower of many coming up, perhaps not even excited to be pregnant, perhaps not even in a good situation. And I sat there, and I thought of words I'd heard recently, that when you feel as though the whole world is heavy, just do the next thing. I said, God, whats the next thing? 

I got up and I put on the hat I crocheted for Witt for Christmas, my tennis shoes and my heavy running jacket and I went out the door, into the brisk air under the gray sky with my phone and headphones. I turned on this sermon, one I've heard many times at work but which encourages me and makes me see the perspective of my problems. I walked and walked. 

Gypsy Slow Down

French Hot Chocolate and cards with friends

I walked through my beautiful neighborhood, past the lovely historic homes, down through the park, to the gazebo and the words rang into my ears...will you trust me? will you love me? will you obey me? 

Suffering, something of which I honestly know very little about, is where it's easiest to hear the voice of God. 

Elisabeth Elliot says, "I look upon suffering as one of God's ways of getting our attention. In fact, C.S Lewis calls pain "God's megaphone." He said, "God whispers to us in our conscience, speaks to us in our joys, and shouts to us in our pain..."

I came back from the walk with a pink nose and frozen hands and I felt rejuvenated and grateful.  I don't have a lot of pain in my life. The amount of blessings God has given me in my 28 years is incredible. But I'm thankful I have a God who created the atom, who cares if I pray asking him to help me find a missing shoe or the perfect gift or something I want so deeply, so greatly.

Bring everything to God in prayer. 

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