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.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day By Day

I left work on December 30, 2010, and knew something was up. When I went into work January 3, 2011, I was told that after 9 1/2 years I had no job!  So I have been job hunting for the last month. For me (at my age!) it has been a time of soul searching to find where God wants me - what He wants me to be doing - and trusting His divine leadership as He guides and directs me.  I feel like this door was closed, after so many years, but I am confident that God has a plan for me and will open the next door at just the right time.  I am anxious, I want to know what's ahead, I want to know everything about tomorrow!!!!  (Patience, Diana, patience!) It has been a little confusing and yet I have a calm assurance that God knows what, where, when, and how!  I am using these days to search out God's will for me and following God's direction day by day!  This hymn  - Day by Day - has always been a favorite of mine.  How fitting that I share this hymn story with you today! 

It is a common tendency for people to look ahead. They wonder - what will happen next? That's why the pseudo science of astrology is booming today as never before. Because we are apprehensive of the future, wondering about some health problem or perhaps a financial difficulty will surprise us, we long for a reassuring word of comfort.

"Day by Day" was a hymn written by a young Swedish woman who learned early in life the all-important lesson of living each day with the conscious presence and strength of her Lord.  Lina Sandell has often been called the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden" for her many contributions to gospel hymnody. From her pen flowed approximately 650 hymns which strongly influenced the waves of revival that swept the Scandinavian countries during the latter half of the 19th century.

At the age of 26 Lina had an experience that greatly influenced her life. She was accompanying her father aboard a ship to the city of Gothenburg, Sweden, across Lake Vattern. The ship gave a sudden lurch and Lina's father, a minister, fell overboard and drowned before the eyes of his devoted daughter. Although Lina had written many hymn texts prior to this tragic experience, now more than ever poetic thoughts that expressed a tender, child-like trust in her Lord began to flow freely from her broken heart.

Day by day and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here;
trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
gives unto each day what He deems best,
lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest.

Ev'ry day the Lord Himself is near me
with a special mercy for each hour,
all my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me.
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
is a charge that on Himself He laid:
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
this the pledge to me He made.

Help me then, in ev'ry tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises,
O Lord, That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a Father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Practice the kind of deep and peaceful trust that Lina Sandell has expressed in this hymn. Focus only on the challenges and difficulties of today and trust the Lord for tomorrow.  Sing this message as you go:

The protection of His child and treasure
 is a charge that on Himself He laid.
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

-Hymn Stories - Kenneth W. Osbeck-

"Let us therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  -Hebrews 4:16

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."  -Psalms 55:22

The Lord is the one constant thing in life, the one true friend - come boldly and cast your care on Him in your time of need and find His grace and mercy!

1 comment:

  1. Diana, I'm getting around to visiting tonight and realized I had not read this post. I will definitely be remembering to pray for you. I can tell you are very talented, by just reading & looking at your blog. I know the Lord has something in store for you. Use this time to spend with HIM in prayer & Bible study.
    Love you & lifting you to the ONE who knows all things. Just like your song "THE Lord of of all the Earth, HE will remain faithful!"