Monday, April 13, 2009
Reflections from the Caboose
This morning I was reading in Psalm 127,
"Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders build in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchmen stays alert in vain."
This caused me to reflect on how so much of the time I feel the compulsion to plan, plan, plan; to know what's coming next and number all the steps out in order: 1,2,3.
And, while there is often a need to do just that, and it really feels good to have that order in place, there are times when planning and trying to foresee the future that things just don't easily fall into place.
For me, I often sense it's time then to pull back a bit and wait for God's plan to come to the forefront. At times I think I try a little too hard...
This morning I wrote the following paragraph in an email to a friend who has a parent having health difficulties...she and I are sharing similar experiences in our lives right now:
Since Dad's stroke, I have gotten a fresh glimpse of how little control I have; none actually! EVERYTHING is in God's control. While I am certainly not perfect at the right response 100% of the time, I am realizing more and more, that my efforts to get something done, if not being led at that time by the Holy Spirit to do so, are totally futile. What I'm referring to is like planning ahead for the future - the 'what ifs' down the road....At times I feel like I need to do more to organize the 'next step' but how can I know what will happen next - what needs to happen next - and what that next step will actually be???? God will make it known to me at the time. And I am amazed at how, for such a trying time - God has given me a great peace through it all....not that I am totally at peace all of the time - but most of the time, for the situation I find myself in, I am experiencing the peace that only God could give.
I was looking through some pictures that Tyler and Emily had taken on their trip to Arizona. On the way out there they were riding in the caboose, and took many pictures looking back at where they had been....
...and I realized how much beauty we can see when we look back at where we've been, and draw strength from the many times that God has pulled us through life's challenging times. Sure, we need to focus on what's ahead and be prepared for the twists and turns in the road ahead....yet what we have already come through contains so much beauty, so much richness, so much to soak in ....I want to remember to enjoy the past and the present and not waste time and energies wondering about tomorrow!
In a devotional I read this morning, Lloyd John Ogilvie states similar thoughts this way:
"My courage is based on the assurance of your ever-present, guiding Spirit; therefore, I will not fear. My hope is rooted in trust in Your reliability; therefore, I will not be anxious. Your interventions in trying times in the past have made me an experienced optimist for the future; therefore, I will not spend my energy in useless worry."
Posted by Paula S at 12:30 PM