In my morning reading this verse jumped out at me. Today, I am making intentional effort to think about what and how I am saying things. Do you remember my theme word for the year, “Kind”? A lot of times it is not so much what we say rather how we say something that comes across hurtful and unkind. Today and every day, I want my words to be kind to others and pleasing to God.
I was visiting with a friend this week, and we were talking about all that has transpired in the past year or so in our lives. We’ve had some expected and some very unexpected twists and turns. She in fact is approaching a huge crossroad right now. Seeking my advice, I responded with, “I really don’t know what you should do IF _______ happens. I do know from my own experience that if I had known ahead of time where and what God was taking me, I probably would have said, ‘No thanks; I can’t do that; God, you have the wrong person.'” Sometimes there is a bigger plan up ahead just around the next bend that we can’t see now.
I have been challenged as I study the life of David: King David, Shepherd Boy to Man After God’s Own Heart. I have always appreciated David’s open honesty of his feelings especially in the book of Psalms. He shares the good, the bad, the ugly, and joyful praise to God. David does not stay angry or in the pit of despair. After he pours out his heart to God, he clings to faith and trust in God, giving “thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136)
Following David’s example, we too must not let fear, disappointment or anger cripple us. We must work through these emotional responses. “O my people, trust in him [God] at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NLT God knows and understands all our emotions and reactions. We may not know the outcome, yet we can intentionally choose to trust God, because He does know. We don’t have to know what is on the road ahead, around the bend, or beyond the hill to trust Him. God has a plan for me; God has a plan for you, and sometimes there is a bigger plan that right now we cannot see.
This morning Hubby and I were discussing “to sell” or “not to sell” as we prepare to bring cattle off rented pastures. As farmers and ranchers know, we have no power over the weather. Our corner of Kansas has seen too many years-in-a-row of drought. The dry parched grassland is taking a toll, and can’t seem to catch up with new growth.
Knowing the grass was going to be in short supply, we sold part of the herd in late spring. We had hoped to get enough rain showers to meet the grazing needs of the rest of the herd. This afternoon as I was traveling home from town, I could see clouds in the southwest and rain streaks in the sky. I am not good at judging distances so I couldn’t tell if it was close to our place or down in the Oklahoma Panhandle. But I just began pouring out my heart to God and thanking Him for the rain he was sending.
When I left town the thermometer read 102! About halfway home, big drops of rain began to splat on my windshield, and the temperature began to do a nosedive. In fact, by the time I pulled into the garage the thermometer had plummeted to 78 degrees!! Cooling, refreshing rain on a scalding summer day. Thank you, Lord for this blessing from above!!
Since summer showers in our part of the country can be so spotty – rain here and dry 2 miles away or the other way around – I took pictures for proof! (Please excuse the poor quality of photography. These were taken from within my vehicle while rain was still pouring down.)
The corner of our field.
The question still remains “to sell” or “not to sell”. We’ll see if this rain is enough to give the grass a growth spurt.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.” Psalm 63:1-4
Can you hear them?
What are those sounds that make you glad today?
Here are a few of mine:
Gurgle of Coffee Pot
Close of door and stomping feet ~ Hubby coming in from blustery outdoors.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
I hear people refer to the “lazy days of summer”, but I’m not sure I truly know what those lazy days are!
On the farm, summer is anything but lazy! In the fields, there is harvesting, planting, tilling, fertilizing, spraying and irrigating. In the pastures, there is counting and checking cattle, hauling water and making sure windmills are pumping, and moving cattle from one pasture to the next as the grass gets eaten or becomes brown and crisp from lack of rain.
With the thermometer reading in the triple digits for many days now and no rain to speak of, the farmers around here will tell you these are the “dog days of summer” not the lazy days!
Having said all that, I can assure you that many a farmer, Hubby included, would not think of changing their occupation. There seems to be something about dirt, sweat, grease under fingernails and knowing farmer has done all he can. The rest is up to God to orchestrate the weather so the seeds will grow and produce a harvest.
As my farmer goes about his busy day, he also keeps an eye on the horizon and the sky. He is watchful of curls of smoke or a sudden flare of fire in field, ditch or pasture, or clouds building with promise of rain. He is trusting God for protection and provision.
These are not the lazy days of summer!
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11