Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pressing on - 10,000 Steps

Today I went out for my daily walk - I'm trying to walk 10,000 steps or more every day!! As I left the house I couldn't help but feel "spring" in the air. I looked at my flowers that were popping up through the cold, dry dirt bursting forth the message that "Spring Is Here"!!! I do a lot of thinking as I walk and my mind went back to yesterday - Easter - the resurrection of our Lord, and I wondered ... did He burst from the grave as my flowers were bursting through the dirt? Or, did he just float out from the tomb leaving it empty? I really don't know, and it really doesn't even matter but what does matter is that I know that I serve a living Savior and He is in the world today. I know that He is living whatever men may say. I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer; And just the time I need Him - He's alway near!

As I continued walking, I couldn't help buy notice flowers and buds on the trees and bushes bursting to life after the long, cold, hard winter. Walking past yard after yard I noticed the ressurection of life. It was as if the birds were even announcing the news - "He Arose"! I couldn't help but think about the two Marys that went to the tomb only to find that Jesus had risen, He was not there! The angel told them that Jesus was going ahead of them to Galilee. And they ran from the tomb with fear and great joy and just then Jesus met them there on the road they were traveling down and said, "Good morning!" "Do not be afraid. Go and tell the others that I will meet them in Galilee." (Matt. 28:8-10)

That is the way it is for us also. There may be many empty tombs ahead of us or we may feel like we are alone in this empty tomb or circumstance that we are in. We may even be struggling to hang on. But if we experience the risen Lord, we can press on and meet Him even when the road ahead is rough and the climb is steep. When we find ourselves back to where we started or we've stumbled and fallen. When we don't understand and the choices are hard and we've given it our all, still we can "press on". Just as Jesus met the Marys along the road and said, "Good morning" He also wants to meet you along the road you are traveling and say "Good morning - do not be afraid" and give you instruction just as He did them.

So when the road is hard - don't give up, don't turn back, don't retreat but press on and meet Jesus on your life's road and rejoice in His resurrection. He died for us and He lives for us. Let's press on and live for Him! And with His help, I will do my best to make my 10,000 steps today count for Him!

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