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.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Destiny: "Predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control".

Today's destiny - A walk in the "rain"!

I left the house with the sun shining across some clouds early this morning. Thirteen blocks into my 3-mile walk, I felt a few steady raindrops, heard some thunder and saw flashes of lightening. With the early sunshine now gone and only dark clouds in sight, I decided to cut my walk short and head back home as quickly as possible!  So I turned up the next block to head home before the down pour started. But shortly up that block the drops began pelting down and "damp" very quickly became "wet" - long before I reached my thirteen blocks back home!! I must admit, I haven't walked in a cold, rain like that for years! I decided I would have to finish by 3-mile walk at the Mall today!!

It was really quite interesting as I hurriedly walked through this rain. A few times I stopped and stood under a tree for shelter but thought it best to move on when the thunder and lightening started and there really didn't seemed to be any sign of this rain letting up. So on I trudged through puddles and rain. I walked along hearing the slapping of windshield wipers and watched people as they drove by. A couple of people offered a ride . . . some just looked and smiled . . . a few laughed (with me, of course - it was kind of funny!) . . . others were preoccupied with driving and whatever else was on their mind . . . one person even offered me an umbrella! I thought that was pretty thoughtful - considering they would probably need it when they reached their own destination. People are funny. I guess it really does take all kinds to make this world go round, doesn't it?

The rain was cold as it hit my face, arms, and drenched my clothes. In the middle of one intersection, the child in me, was tempted to look up in the sky, stick my tongue out and catch the rain in my mouth like we did when we were kids as we twirlled around in circles, dancing in the rain!!!  But with my age - I have gained a "little" maturity!  And, I felt this probably would not be a very wise choice on my part!!  Especially, since just last week, while not paying attention, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and took a little fall!  No, I thought it best that I not encourage any catastrophe on my part!!!  So, I restrained myself and just walked on!!!  LOL!

When I left my house this morning, I came upon a house that was all decorated for the big TJ / AL High School game tonight. This house had crepe paper streamers everywhere and they had been "chalked" - chalk writing on the sidewalks and driveway saying - "Get it DONE!" to the football player (I'm assuming) and cheering him on to victory at tonight's game. Another sidewalk I passed said something entirely different. This driveway said someone was "NOT Welcome Here". What a contrast in words.

On my "walk in the rain" back home I couldn't help but notice that both of these chalk writings had been totally washed away in this short amount of time. That may have been a "blessing" for the one who was told "you are NOT welcome here". Maybe destiny would not want that person to know that this was written in big "warning" letters on the driveway. But the rain also washed away the well-wishers "Go-Team Get it DONE!" message. The wet crepe paper was drooping to the ground and there were no signs of the words of encouragement on the sidewalk or driveway. All washed away with the morning rain! Each of these destinies unknown - each message unknown to the person it was meant for. Would these messages have changed anything if the person they were intended for had seen them?? Who knows - maybe or maybe not! Funny little "chalk" messages but what was behind those little messages? Fun, excitement, encouragement for one but what about the other? Hurt, resentment, anger, and hate - so much so, that "You Are NOT Welcome Here" was chalked in big letters so the other person could see it. Words, spoken, chalked or just displayed, like the people driving by me in the pouring rain this morning, speak ever so loudly.

"We should seize every opportunity to give encouragement. Encouragement is oxygen to
the soul. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, even a nod or smile, but their
echoes are truly endless".     (authur unknown) 

"A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth and a word spoken in due season, how good is it"! 
- Prov. 15:23

As I walked in the rain this morning, I was soaking wet from head to toe, raindrops on my glasses, my watch, and my shoes were sqeaky-wet as I sloshed through the puddles and continued my "walk in the rain" to my destiny - home sweet home! I hadn't planned on this "walk in the rain" destiny today. I thought I would be back home before the rain started! 

Destiny means: "A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control". Guess what? That morning rain and my shortened walk back home was indeed a predetermined course of events beyond human power or control!  Totally out of my control - I only knew I had better hurry and get home the quickest way possible. Thirteen blocks later, wet and a little chilly, I stepped up on the porch, sat down in the lawn chair and watched the rain and thanked the Lord for watering the dry grass and flowers.  But more than that, for all of those people that offered a ride, an umbrella, a smile, a wave, a simple nod, and some encouragement to me as I walked in God's special "showers of blessings" this morning!

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains...   - Psalm 148:7-8

What does your day hold - what is in your destiny for this very day? Whatever is in your destiny, even if it is "a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control"  be assured that God will help you look beyond that event or situation to see something more than the things that we cannot humanly control. Let God prepare us for the rain showers that come our way. Let God prepare us for the detours in life that we need to take. Let God use others to encourage us and let God also use us to encourage those around us that may be "walking in the rain"! 

And the next time you are caught in the rain, take a moment to stop and enjoy and experience God's "showers of blessings"!

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