Pain

I have many friends who are currently experiencing some sort of pain. Emotional, physical, mentally, and grief.

I would like in each case to just pray and see it all go away. POOF! It’s gone. But, the Lord does not work that way.

I saw a meme today about changing the past, but if you do that, you do not learn the lessons given through our previous experiences.

Our Lord has a purpose and a plan for our lives. We don’t always understand. We question and we wonder.

But God…

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 (NLT)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.” Psalm 139: 1-5 (NLT)

Just One of those Days

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)

This scripture is like a cozy blanket on a cold day. The Lord blankets us with a promise, with security, and with peace.

There comes a time each year that marks a difference. Although the calendar says August, it feels like a day in late October. The temperature is below 80, the sky is filled with gray clouds and rain has been sputtering off and on. I actually wore a sweater as I walked today, it was glorious.

A day like this happens and it calls out for soup for dinner. I love to make soup, but it isn’t one of my favorite meals. Tonight is mulligatawny soup. This soup I do enjoy. It is comforting.

It has been on of those days where you want to just be lazy. To be wrapped in a cozy blanket and feel snuggled in. I have felt the presence of the Lord today. I have not been compelled to do anything except unwind and rest. The type of day where I an easily picture myself climbing onto the lap of the Lord and listen to His heartbeat. To feel His rhythmic breathing and feel His warmth. Better than any blanket available, and so much more peaceful.

So, as I try to bring comfort in food and atmosphere in our home, internally I am sensing a calm and restful time in the Lord. “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NASB) This scripture is for all, all of us that need salvation, and all of us who need a day to snuggle. Our Lord beckons us to come to Him, He will open His arms and welcome us in. I imagine it is like snuggling with a little one, you grab a blanket, open your arms and climb into your lap as the blanket closes in around them. You then settle in and breathe deeply.

Yearning

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NLT)

The past two weeks have been filled with much activity. In the middle of the weeks I had my final appointment with my orthopedist. My elbow is healing nicely and I can resume slowly getting back to normal. This is great news.

The only drawback is that I am weakened in my right arm. My wrist still hurts and my shoulder does also. I find I don’t have dexterity in my arm and that can be frustrating for me.

These minor frustrations lead me to the Lord in prayer. I know movement will return, as will strength. It will just take a few more weeks.

As I have thought about this, I realize that in the busy-ness of the past two weeks, I haven’t devoted as much time to prayer or reading my bible.

Today as I began my normal schedule the word “yearning” came to mind. According to Mirriam-Webster, yearning is defined as a tender or urgent longing.

I long to draw near to my God. It is an urgency within me. For the past two weeks, each morning, I had a seven year old grab a blanket from the back of the couch, wrap herself up in it and climb onto my lap. For the next few minutes there would be a cozy, intimate conversation between us. She would lay her head on my shoulder and tell me she loved me. This is what I yearn to do with my heavenly Father.

What’s Up With the Roses? Part 3 Caught in the Brambles No More

The last time my granddaughter was visiting we took a walk.  We often take walks when we are together.  Walking down our steep road, she said she wanted to go see our creek. It flows through our property in our woods; our grandchildren love to play by it. 

As we veered off the road, I told her to be careful of the brambles.   She didn’t understand at first, so I told her that brambles were the thorny branches of the wild roses that grow on our property. 

Walking forward she learned what brambles were.  I tried to clear the path, but with each step she landed deeper into the mass of thorny bushes. She finally threw up her arms pleading with me to pick her up.  I leaned down, scooped her up, turned and gently tossed her up the hill where she landed on her feet.  The conversation back to the house was filled with her dislike of brambles.

How often in our lives do we start heading to a destination only to find ourselves caught in a pile of brambles?  We eventually throw our hands up, pleading with God to lift us from the thorns. He is faithful and removes what is keeping us tangled up.  But, our Lord, unlike this Grandmother, will gently pick you up, and lay us beside still waters to hear His voice and heal.   

Psalm 23:2-4, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths,   bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” (New Living Translation)

What’s Up with the Roses? Part 2 He’s Called Me Rose

Our home in San Diego overlooked a major freeway.  There was noise from the vehicles day and night. Right beside the freeway was a landfill. When we first bought our house, the landfill was a site for bulldozers and heavy equipment.  In a few years it looked almost idyllic sitting beside the never-ending traffic.  Where bulldozers once roamed the land, grasses grew, along with the California poppies in the spring. 

Our family room looked out on the freeway and frequently I would stand at the window watching the vehicles whizzing down the road.   This is also the room where I would have my quiet time and prayer time. 

I had a season in my life while living there, that I struggled with my first name, Mary.   That sounds silly, I know, but it was a real struggle for me.

I was raised a Catholic, and my parents named me after my aunt Jane.  She too was Mary Catherine, but my Mom once told me they called her Jane because she was a plain Jane.  Not a winning argument in me liking the name Mary. 

My family called me Cathi.  I was used to that.  I like it.  I had a rude awakening when I entered first grade though.  Being a Catholic school there were many Mary’s.  Mary Kay, Mary Ann, Mary Beth, you get the idea.  Each of the girls was called by their full name.  I was just called Mary.  I dislike being called Mary.  It’s a beautiful name, and I am finally beginning to like it, but I prefer my full name or Cathi.  

It was during this season in 1991 when I was wrestling with God about my name.  Often during my quiet time I would hear Him speak to me about my name.  I wrote in my journal one day in October of that year that I need to accept that I am Mary.  I needed to accept who I am.  I continued to write in my journal the following: “You need to accept who you are. Just as you are a Rose- you are a wild one, not cultivated and pruned and restricted.  You are an individual”.  I remember after writing this looking out the family room window imagining a wild rose growing on the hillside of the landfill.   A wild rose that no one really notices, but is there.  I saw the rose as pink, I don’t know why. 

Recently I went back in my journals and saw this entry.  I went online and researched pink roses.  Wild roses are likely to be pink; they are a symbol of love and admiration, and a carrier of secrets.

So many years ago I heard about wild roses.  I had a deck full of cultivated roses, and I never thought of a wild rose.  Years ago our Lord was telling me that I may not be noticed, but He noticed me.  He loves me and He knows me. 

Isaiah 43:1b says, ““Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”

I rest knowing that I am His.