Monday, January 20, 2014

Encouragement...

It's Five Minute Friday - bloggers internet-wide joining together to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing, no going back) on a prompt provided by the lovely Lisa-Jo. Head here for more details and to join in!

[I'll go ahead and admit that this is not the post I originally wrote, and that it absolutely took me more than five minutes.]


I'll admit, as a general rule I stay up late on Thursday nights to see what the prompt will be, because I love Five Minute Fridays. But we had a faith-rocking Thursday, and when I saw what the prompt for this week was, I rolled my eyes and closed my laptop a little harder than necessary.

We had been given an opportunity to praise God, no matter what, and to trust that His plan is the best plan - and, honestly, we flubbed it. We both reverted into a couple of tired toddlers, turning to our heavenly Father with a whining, "why?" Confused and crushed, encouragement was something that we both desperately needed and didn't have the hope to believe would come.

So we spent the first part of our weekend pretending that nothing had happened - with the end result that when there was a downward development yesterday, our tidy illusion crumbled like the sand it was made of.

Today we tried again, with better results. We prayed. We praised. We counted gifts. We resolved to prepare our heart-fields for rain, to trust but not presumptuously or selfishly or apathetically. We finished hanging pictures in our new apartment. We enjoyed God's glorious creation and spent time together as a family by going for a hike (something that hasn't happened for over a year.) I took the camera, and in amongst all the moss and tree roots, captured one still mountain pond.

And when we got home and I uploaded all of them, and saw this one on a screen larger than the tiny glaring viewer the camera provides, words sprang into my mind and into my heart:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake."
[Psalm 23:1-3]

Encouragement. Right there, on the side of a mountain. The One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He is where my help comes from. He doesn't leave us, or forsake us - and even when we doubt and struggle and protest, when we beg for faith, He gives it to us. We may not see the next step, but the One who wrote the path walks beside us, behind us, and before us --- and before Him we can safely fall, because He will lift us up again.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Absolutely beautiful! It breathes of God's amazing grace. Thank you for sharing. Truly, lovely.