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.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oatmeal Days

It's not always the "red-flag crisis days" that are hardest to take. It's the "Oatmeal Days." The ordinary, "zero" days of little or no consequences. The ho-hum days filled with nothing of any particular interest. Colorless. Uninteresting. Unfascinating. Unspectacular. And unfun. The days everyone deals with.

We cope. We wend our way through the tangle of tedious activity and sandpaper people scattered through our day and get no applause, because coping is expected. We just carry on!

Not so during the "red-flag" crisis times. People tend to rally behind us with loving support. We're lifted above the crisis and enabled beyond human comprehension at times. Isn't is amazing what a little support and loving-kindness can do to get us through these times. And then with God's help - whew, we made it!!!  Have you ever said that??  I know I have many times.

On oatmeal days, after a crisis has peaked, it may seem as if friends have forsaken us, as if God doesn't care. But the reality will be that life has merely pushed us and our friends one step further in the Christian Growth-Walk. We've learned what it means to love, carry someone's burden, and lift and make the load  more bearable. We've learned what true Christian Growth-Walk is all about!
The God of the crisis times IS the God of the oatmeal days, too. Because He said He is. Because He keeps His promises - always. Because we can't get along without Him . . . and because we wouldn't want to if we could.   (Source Unknown)

So just remember that the God of the "red-flag" crisis time is also the God of the "oatmeal days! 

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