The spiritual scenic route
What a week, eh?
From no T.P. to no P.T to who knows what's coming around the corner.
We set the church up for voting only to take it down again only to wonder if we will be able to gather as a congregation one more time.
I didn't begin to "fear-out" until the second grocery store with no eggs and a 2 can limit on canned goods.
Until I reached my whole arm into the plastic display that usually holds tomato soup and found nothing but dust.
I tried to laugh it off and tell myself that if we decided to go Vegetarian we'd feast like kings because ain't nobody's claws touching the veggie burgers.
My husband met me at the third store, hearing in my voice on the phone that it would be great to navigate empty isles with his hand in mine.
I love that 20 years of marriage does that to you.
The fridge was full once again, the house full of all of the kids once again as the oldest comes from college and my heart full again with what the Lord was reminding me of.
I didn't want to sit with Him long enough for Him to tell me much because I thought I could work it out on my own. So I cleaned, baked artisan bread, (yes, this was a shock to me too!) ordered two new board games for the crew, played numerous games of RACKO and nursed my own worry.
Oh, sure, I read my Bible, I did good things, but I didn't still long enough for Him to speak to me like He wanted to until last night.
I found a free audio book for the kids and put it on while I checked my mail.
Without loads of details, the backstory is that the Lord is allowing me to walk a difficult road with Him, and me, like a stubborn teenager keeps sloughing-off His attempts to comfort me.
Almost like I deserve a better road, a nicer one and am mad at Him for getting me off-grid for a bit.
I am resisting the scenic route.
Doesn't He know I have places to go and people to see?
And then Corona came and gave me virus loads of reasons to withdraw whatever trust I had left.
Trust that would build up each day while listening to the radio read how Corrie Ten Boom saw how the Lord loved and cared and carried her through. The radio program would come on and you could hear a pin drop. And then that exit music ending the quickest half hour known to man and we would all sigh. Even the kids wanted more opportunities to see the Lord at work.
Then the Lord brought just a phrase from the Old Testament to draw my heart to His own.
"faint yet pursuing.."
Judges 8:4-6 reminded me that Gideon had his own difficult road. Much more difficult than my own.
"And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.
And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.
And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? "
Gideon is one of my favorite Bible characters. So fearful, so distrusting, so finally determined to go and fight.
He seeks to do what God has commanded him and finds that He is faint, He and those around him.
This is the first of two times he is denied help and it did not bode well for those who saw a need outside of their own comfort and withheld goodness.
Nope it did not.
I get lost in the story and the Lord says, "You are faint. Keep pursuing. Keep doing what I have asked you to do."
I nod and tuck that away.
And in the midst of this audiobook that faintly catches my attention I hear it, about "honest dogs."
It comes so quick and so lifts my heart that I need a slip of mail to write it down to see it in ink and let it soak in,
"Honest dogs pull hard even when they are tired. An honest dog is one who gives his all- not just when he's tired."
This book about the wild and wonderful Iditarod who some have called the "Last Great Race on Earth," has caught me and found me out.
The Lord again reminding me to keep pulling.
I just have to give my all.
Whatever all I have.
My race won't look like anyone else's on Insta. My race is my own, and I am just asked to keep pulling.
It feels like we took a wrong turn this last month, the Lord and I, but He tells me to keep my nose down and run hard because He is there with me.
This God of the Universe stoops to love me through His Word and a kid's audiobook.
Though the world may loose scores of frozen pizzas and hoard toilet paper, my God will provide what I NEED, because He knows me better than anyone.
He can be trusted.
Though the world may fear an invisible foe, my God is my defense and strong tower of protection.
He is my one safe place.
Though the world may ask us to keep our distance, my God will sit even closer than we can ever remember and fellowship with me.
He loves to meet with us.
He will show us Cardinals because we love them and He wants us to remember His love.
He will help us find bagels because they are our favorite and He wants us to delight in simple joys.
He will give us extra time with the oldest because He knows that this one truly knows how to keep us smiling, and God loves it when we are smiling.
Sled dogs, Gideon, and bagels friends.
This is what my relationship with the Lord today is made up of.
More than I can say I want you to know that you are loved.
You can vacillate in your faith.
You can be Peter stepping out of the boat one minute, choking with fear the next and then looking up in faith again.
All in one afternoon with an audiobook.
Psalm 24: 1-5 "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."
I vote for clean hands, but I vote for a pure heart even more.
Hugs to you friends.