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.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Change in Weather!

This is “Gertrude”, my office goose that watches over my desk and helps keep everything in order! She has a set of seasonal clothes. The preschool children coming in enjoy making sure she has the appropriate outfit on for the season. This morning I had to take off her pretty pink bonnet and spring flowered dress and put her yellow rain coat and rain hat on – since the weather has drastically changed and brought us cold, wind, and rain!

It would seem that we have regressed back to “pre-spring” conditions! Our nice warm sunshiny days are gone and it sounds like we are in for a week of this “change”. We are back to the cold, windy, rainy days like we usually have before spring actually hits. Brrrr . . . I had to bring out the sweaters and sweatshirts again! Just when we thought we were heading into summer the weather has made this unexpected drastic change.

I wasn’t ready for this. I was enjoying the nice warm sunshine on my shoulder! Then just like that the change hit. With the cold change I also came down with a really bad cold! Last week I missed two days of work, couldn’t talk most of the week – to which, I'm sure, many counted it a “blessing”!! I am better this week and back to work but still fighting the cold a bit. I absolutely hate spring and summer colds – they should only get you down in the winter!

Anyway, like it or not – change happens! It can be the weather, a cold or our health, job situations, financial responsibilities, divorce, an unexpected addition to the family, a wayward child, a car accident, an ailing parent, or any number of other things that happen in life. We can’t always control these changes no matter how hard we try. Change just happens. Sometimes it is really tough and hard to deal with and other times it is for the good. And sometimes it is hard to see that it really is “for our good”!

In the midst of change we can rest in the promise found in Heb 13:8 (Msg) – “ For Jesus doesn't change--yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself”. Life would be no challenge if there were no change. But with each challenge and change that comes our way we can know that our Lord is right there with us leading and guiding us through to the end. When we seek Him with ALL of our heart, mind, soul, and strength – He will be there to walk beside us each step of the way. He will give us the wisdom and knowledge to know what to do in each situation and the understanding of what we are experiencing. He wants to give us the strength to carry on in spite of the obstacles we may be facing and the courage to just “keep on keeping on” until we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

He will give us the faith we need to put our trust in Him and know He loves us, He cares for us, He sees our struggle or “change” and He will give us the “peace that passeth all understanding” and we can rest and know He is with us no matter what changes we experience in our walk through this life.

The definition of change is: to be or cause to be different; alter. If you have experienced something that has “changed” your life, if something or someone has caused your life to be different – it has altered your life, accept it and put your trust in the One that doesn’t change – Jesus. He is our answer to any and all change that may come like cold winds and rain, the drastic things in life that want to defeat us. So many times I want “change” - I want the cold, the wind, and the rain to go away this week – I’m ready for springy weather! But I must remind myself that “constant sunshine causes a hot, parched dessert”!! Change is a part of life – accept it and trust God to meet your needs and see you through!

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