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, July 12, 2010

Walking by FAITH not by SIGHT

A poem by Ruth A. Morgan . . .

Sometimes I'm sad. I know not why
My heart is sore distressed;
It seems the burdens of this world
Have settled on my heart.
And yet I know...I know that God
Who doeth all things right
Will lead me thus to understand
To walk by FAITH...not SIGHT.
And though I may not see the way
He's planned for me to go...
That way seems dark to me just now
But oh, I'm sure He knows!
Today He guides my feeble step
Tomorrow's in His right...
He has asked me to never fear...
But walk by FAITH...not SIGHT.
Someday the mists will roll away,
The sun will shine again.
I'll see the beauty in the flowers.
I'll hear the bird's refrain.
And then I'll know my Father's hand
Has led the way to light
Because I placed my hand in His
And walked by FAITH...not SIGHT.
                   -Ruth A. Morgan

Do you ever catch yourself walking by sight and not by faith? These past two weeks have been very stressful for me and in these difficult moments I find it easy to look around and "see", with these "human eyes" of mine, all of the circumstances surrounding me - forgetting to look through my "eyes of faith". I watch the struggle, the rebellion, and the hurt of those close to me and it is easy to get caught up in the crisis/moment - trying to help, to ease the pain, to give support and guidance and seeing beyond the outer image to the heart and soul of what is really going on beneath the surface. At these times, when I am frustrated, when I receive an alarming telephone call at 2:30 in the morning like last week, or when I feel the blunt edge of total rebellion - at these disheartening times, I am reminded that faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. "For we walk by faith, not by sight." -2 Corinthians 5:7. It is this that keeps me going, that gives me strength to carry on, to reach out and trust that God is at work in each of our hearts and lives - even when we seem to see no progress, no relief, and satan would like us to feel total defeat. It's then that I realize once again that God gives the strength to "press on". He gives us the understanding and the love to put our circumstances into His perspective.

I was sharing with someone this past week and they made a statement that hit me full force. They said that "God loves my children far more than I do" - I know that in my heart but do I really comprehend the extent of God’s love for them in my head? Or do I look at them through my "sight" and not my "faith"? These past two weeks have brought one major incident after another to my attention - definitely putting my faith to the test.

There have been times I have felt like the person standing on the highway flagging people down to tell them, STOP! - the bridge is out ahead. And as I stand there some cars slow down and take heed but some speed on by only to drive off of the road into the ravine that was once spanned by the bridge. Unwilling to stop and find out what danger lies ahead, they continue on their own to the destination they are embarking upon. Unwilling to listen and take heed of the danger signs, the warnings, the futile attempts of those standing on the highway frantically trying to stop them. Only to realize, many times after it is too late to stop, that their destination will be cut short or altered by the ever present danger ahead of them. Why don’t they stop and take heed? I don’t know . . . but God see’s the whole picture – I see only what my physical eyes can see! And sometimes it scares me. It’s at this time that those words echo in my head and deeper into my heart . . . “Diana, God loves your children far more than you do”!!!  Oh, that I would never forget that.

2 Corinthians 5:7, is my prayer today – “to walk by faith . . . not by sight”. The Message version says, “It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.”  To truly trust God and His "fathomless love"  (fathomless means . . . too deep to fathom or understand!)  WOW!  So, to walk by FAITH and not by SIGHT is to truly trust God and His “fathomless love” to reach out and touch, give guidance, influence, direction, and “love” in ways I, as a mere mother, cannot!

So today, I’m placing my hand in His and going to walk by FAITH...and not by SIGHT. God's love is fathomless!

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