Spring is really here. It is a beautiful spring day where I live. The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. I am grateful for the beauty of this season. It is so comforting to realize that Spring will come every year even if we still feel like we are in a winter season.. that would be me. The grieving season does not end when Spring starts.. but the colors of the flowers and the bright blue sky give me hope. I am thankful I can begin to enjoy things.. little by little.
There are many dark days and nights for me.. I miss my husband every single day but there are also glimmers of hope. Days when I feel like maybe I really do have a future.. when I may actually have a new life that brings me joy and happiness. God has given us His creation and seasons that enable us to feel a certain security in these insecure times.. The beauty of the earth is timeless.. the seasons are never late. He is still on His throne even in the chaos of this broken world and in the sadness of our lives.
This season of my life has been very difficult and I am learning more and more on the everlasting arms. He is my rock and my security. Standing on His promises is the only safe place right now. My hope is in Him.. He is the same .. yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is our protector and our provider. His ways are not ours.. We are His people.. the sheep of His pasture.. He is our Shepherd we have all that we need.
I pray that the Lord is revealing His love for you daily.. that you are resting in Him and that you find the green pastures and quiet streams .. the places where He can minister to you and restore you.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
God is good at throwing curve-balls isn’t he? Just when you think you know what He might do next..He does something totally unexpected. Over the last year my husband and I have prayed continually that God would direct our steps..that we would stay on the path with Him without having any ability to discern His direction. It was been very challenging and sometimes I’ve wondered if we missed a critical turn. Whenever I checked in, He seemed to be saying that we were exactly where He wanted us and all we had to do was wait and pray.
In the midst of the waiting He has been working to get us ready for a new season. We still don’t know exactly what it will look like..but at least we are getting glimpses. He has a plan and it is unfolding in the perfect way..not the way I would unfold it.. but I’m not in charge. The waiting has been difficult and there were times when I felt so abandoned and afraid..yet God was fully present..He never moved away. It is important to remember how safe we are with Him.. even when we don’t feel that way.
Now that we are in a transitional time.. I am meditating on Psalm 23 and it is helping me immensely as we are moving ahead. I found a book that helps you memorize the psalm and meditate on it as you go through your day. What a difference it is making .. I am finding myself resting more fully in His goodness and feeling secure in His presence. Isn’t it amazing how God loves to bring us closer to His heart as we trust Him despite our fears and anxieties? Here is the psalm.. it is a wonderful reminder of the heart of our Good Shepherd.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
in the arms of God. That’s right. Some lights have gone on for me this week. Instead of sitting on the edge of my seat and wondering when the answers will come, I am beginning to rest. realizing at a deeper level that my anxiousness hurts no one but myself. After all if I am confident that God is at work and that I am where I need to be on the path, then I can relax knowing that all is well.
A prayer that helps me.. is to ask if there is anything I am missing. If I ask and hear nothing than it is safe to assume that I haven’t taken a wrong turn somewhere. I walk daily doing the things God gives me to do.. making sure that I am following His lead and believing that He is taking me deeper.. that He will continue to show me new things and use me to help others. There may be twists and turns, but there are signs along the way that show me I am right where I should be.
This is the place of rest that enables me to wait and trust and believe that He is with me and will bring new things to me at just the right time. Nothing can compare to the peace that God gives as we follow Him with our whole heart. All those things that threaten to overcome us lose their power as we realize that that He is good and that He loves us.
It sounds so easy, but it is truly the most difficult thing I have ever done because it means getting myself out of the way and keeping my focus on Him..intently listening and walking in faith. When we live like this, it is our own personal journey and God speaks encouraging words to us that no one else truly understands. He leads us beside still waters… He quenches our thirst with living water.
“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.”
When there is a tragedy in our nation.. we all grieve together. We may not talk much about that.. or acknowledge it openly.. but we are all grieving. Lives were lost for no reason.. innocent people were killed. No one saw it coming.
There have been many of these incidents in our country over the last decade. People are doing things that no one could have imagined until recently..there is no real explanation. All we can do is pray for those who remain and will continue to live without answers for the rest of their lives. We live in a fallen world and there are times when it is overwhelming. We are more at risk from others in this country than from outside forces..no one would have anticipated that outcome when 9/11 occurred.
Our hearts are heavy and we hope that we won’t experience what the people in Aurora are living through. We grieve with them and wish we could do something to help them recover. Their journey will be long as they try to make sense of a senseless act.
So where is God in all this? He is right where He always is in times like these. He is with us.. with the survivors.. with the grieving families.. He is the comforter and He weeps with the broken-hearted. He knows the pain of His people.. He is the healer and the redeemer. Our God is faithful and He has not changed. All we can do is trust in His goodness and pray for those who are are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”