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.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

God's Peace

This has been a very eventful week for me. At work I was busy trying to get the church newsletter out and mailed for October. The copy machines were acting up and there were special services for the weekend with extra bulletins to prepare. It just seemed to be a week full of one interruption after another that was making it difficult to get things done in a timely manner! By noon on Thursday, I knew I would not get everything done by my normal 3:30 pm quitting time for the week! Leaving work on Thursday, I knew I would have to go back in on Friday, my blessed day off! It was going to be a busy weekend, finishing up my work at the church, taking newsletters to the post office, running my daughter over to Omaha, going to the bank, going to a meeting at school for my son, stopping to get oil to put in my car, refuel at the gas station, drive an hour to attend a visitation for a very dear friend, drive back home and get ready for a 6 pm wedding back in Omaha, come home and get up early Saturday and drive back for the funeral . . .

Not only was it such a busy week at work and at home, but it was a busy week of just plain old "brain-power" - thinking, remembering, doing, saying, running, encouraging, lifting up, caring, and sharing.

. . . As I said, a very special friend won her battle with cancer this week leaving behind dad and three young children. We're rejoicing that she fought a good fight and has now won her eternal victory - but Jill will certainly be missed. Her radiant smile, her encouraging and kind words, her very life here on earth will leave a huge void for all that knew and loved her but her victory is in Jesus! Remember her family in prayer as they face the days ahead. There will no doubt be tough days ahead for them but we serve a mighty God! A God that knows what’s up ahead and will lead them on and give them the victory they need for each new day.

“Victory In Jesus” was one of the hymns sung at the funeral along with “What a Day That Will Be” – both songs of encouragement and faith. One of the most touching moments was when everyone was gathered around the casket at the cemetery, the chimes from the bell tower was playing “In the Sweet By and By” and the people just seemed to linger paying their respect to Jill and the family. Darrin and the children began pulling out rose after rose from the spray of beautiful roses covering the casket and began walking out among the crowd giving them a rose and a hug until all of the roses were gone. What a touching moment!! The family of God was together reaching out to the family and the family was reaching out to those gathered. And most of all the presence of God was felt in the midst of all of this. A loss here on earth – a body made whole – tears of sadness – tears of joy – God’s homecoming for Jill – a home in Heaven – Victory!

May Heaven be your Goal – your Victory – your Eternal Home!

This was such a busy week for me, physically and mentally, but as I prepared to go to church today, my heart was rejoicing and praising God.  With a "peace that passeth all understanding", I went expecting to meet God there and what a wonderful service we did have!   God truly was there in our midst and blessed my tired, weary soul with a peace I cannot even explain - God was there . . . all week!

No comments:

Post a Comment