Archive for June 28th, 2011

Hanging on …

Yesterday I wrote a post about dealing with struggles, and when it was finished I realized that I was pretty good at speaking truth, and not so good at living it (aka. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching). So, not wanting to be a hypocrite, I decided to take my own advice.

I knew I needed to get out, and have some undisturbed time … what mother of kids who live at home doesn’t desire that? Fortunately, one kid was out, and the other two were preoccupied with video games and the telephone … and kid number four (aka. hubby) was deeply engaged in a movie. So, I took a notebook, a pencil, a cup of tea and a towel (to dry off the outdoor chair I was heading for, as it had rained … (again).

I sat facing the bright, even warm, sun. This was fantastic, as last week was the first day of summer, and I am still very convinced that we have barely had spring! But, I digress!

The sun was beautiful, and the sky, although dotted with big white cotton ball clouds, was a spectacular bright blue. So I dried my chair, and snuggled in with my tea. I laid my head back and smiled … eyes closed. When I do something like this, I am reminded how infrequently I take the time to do … nothing, and how immediately responsive my body and mind are when I do. Hum, maybe our bodies and minds are created with a need for rest … not just sleep (which I am a big fan of) but rest … being still.

So, there I sat, the sun shining down on my, my body and mind becoming still. Then my eyes opened as I realized I did have a purpose in going out … I had my notebook and pencil. So, I stood, and turned my chair so that I was facing away from the sun (deep down, I was probably looking for a rainbow … it had rained earlier). Then I got my notebook out, and started writing praises.

Now, if you didn’t read my post yesterday, it was about those life moments when you feel like your life is hanging by a thread, when your ship comes in, but you are at the airport, when you’ve got just one nerve left and someone (heavy) is standing on it …

… when you are in the midst of struggle.

And I spoke of how when we are in the midst of struggle, we need to give up control and look to the only one who is in control for answers.

And, as I sat outside, the sun on my back, I did just that. But I went one step further … I cannot look on the God of my life, and not praise Him (hum, maybe that is what we were designed to do). So, I began to write down my praise to my God.

I started with His reminder to me … “Be still and know that I am God (I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10).” And then, in no order (ha! ha! ha! … in my mind order is absent anyway) I wrote about what I was seeing … the bright blue sky, the brilliant green trees, plants and grass. I wrote about what I was hearing … the melody of a chorus of many kinds of birds, insects and squirrels.

Then I wrote of how hard it was to sit, and be still … I could weed, I could trim that grapevine, I could dead head my rose bush. No! I am here to worship, and be still! Then I wrote (page two) ‘I will praise you,’ and, for the next half hour I sat, and I wrote my hearts praises to God.

And I didn’t stop until, after over three pages of writing, I had a cramp in my right hand, from scribbling down on the paper. Over and over, what came to my mind, and I wrote on the paper were praises to God for what I know, in my head, He is. And, as I read my list over, I realized that I was praising Him for the things that were my struggle …

Over and over, what came to my mind were words of how God is my protector, my safety, my comforter. The very areas I was feeling needy. Obviously, what my mind knows (that God will protect me), I easily forget when I am trying to stay in control of the struggle of the moment.

But, I didn’t only learn that the cries of my heart are already being comforted by the Great Comforter … I also learned that the struggle cannot be hurried, and that to find comfort in struggle is even better that knowing the struggle is over.

You see, when I turned my chair from the sun, I was looking for a rainbow …

I wrote the following on my paper …

“My grapevine is reaching up, reaching out towards the sun, the light … it is beautiful! BUT I turn my chair so my back is to the sun, the warmth, the light, because I want to see the rainbow … the sign of the end of the struggle and the hope prayed for … I want to RUSH the reward …”

You know what? After about an hour of praising God, I got my reward … without the struggle being over yet. To have followed the leading to praise in the midst of the storm was far more rewarding than to know that the storm is over. One day, the storm WILL be over, but to have received God’s peace, and comfort in the midst of it is even better … because that is a miracle that could not have been achieved if I had been in control.

And from now on, no more searching for rainbows … like my grapevine, I’m looking towards the light.

God is in control, and I will praise Him in the storm.

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