It occurred to me that I neglected to post as usual over the weekend! *Gasp horror* I didn’t mean to forget, but somehow I just kept having things I needed to do and I never got around to it. So sorry!
So lately I’ve been thinking about goats. (We have four adorable babies bouncing around the premises. Who could help but think about them?) When we go out to feed them in the morning all the goats start hollering at us from their various pens. (Especially the bottle babies. For some reason they always seem hungry… What’s with that?) As I pass the billy goat pen I promise them that I’m going to feed them – and then walk in the opposite direction to feed the does. To them it looks like I’m blatantly breaking my promise, and they keep hollering. And then when I go to get hay pellets for the billies, I have to walk past the dog that is wagging her tail and begging, so of course I promise her that I’ll feed her too. And don’t alter my course at all. She watches me get the hay pellets for the goats and probably things that I have no intention whatsoever of feeding her.
You know, sometimes I think that’s how we view God. We all come to Him begging for things we need, and then watch Him bless other people while we’re sitting over here still waiting and wondering if He’s forgotten about us. Just because He’s answering someone else’s prayer and doesn’t seem to have noticed yours does not mean He’s forgotten you. Trust me, He heard you. Sometimes He just lets us wait a while for an answer.
It’s okay to wait a while. God’s timing always works out even when it doesn’t seem to fit our schedules. He doesn’t miss deadlines, He doesn’t turn in late work, and He doesn’t forget to feed his flock. So don’t despair because He seems to be taking too long. Waiting is often merely a blessing in disguise.
So yep. There is my belated and disjointed thought of the week. 😀 God bless!
Have you ever had one of those dreams that left you wishing you either hadn’t dreamed it or else hadn’t woken up? My subconscious seems to be overactive at night, and so I’ve had plenty of them as a result. While I enjoy dreams as much as anybody else, I have to draw the line at dreaming I’m in a courtship. (Yes, I did dream that once.) Because then I have to wake up and remember that I’m still too young to get married, and little lonely too.
When Valentine’s Day comes around (and it stubbornly does every single year [Actually, I’m pretty sure it does every married year too…]), it’s easy for the unmarried people to wish they had a special someone to spend it with. Getting married sometimes seems like the cure-all. “I will be happy when I get married.” “All my emotional problems will go away if only I get married.” “I’ll never be lonely again if only I get married!” You get the picture.
A couple thoughts on that. First of all, only God will make you truly happy. I don’t care how great the guy is or how gorgeous the girl is or how perfectly romantic they are. Marriage doesn’t make people happy. (I think the divorce rate says something for that…) Only God makes people happy, because only God can make them complete. People can make us happy for a while, but the true happiness – joy – that lasts, comes from God, because He is perfect.
Basing our joy on human beings is just asking for heartbreak because – let’s face it – no human is perfect. We fail each other. We irritate each other. And when we feel like it, we purposely hurt each other. That’s why marriage can’t make us happy. Because humans can’t make us happy.
Second thought! Marriage doesn’t solve all your problems. (Actually, as near as I can gather [not having actually experienced it, you see], marriage can make your problems a lot more obvious because it takes away your ability to hide from them.) Marriage is not a magic spell – it’s a relationship. Just as messy and confusing and hard as other relationships are; in fact, it’s a lot harder than other relationships because it’s so close up – there’s no escaping this person.
Marriage doesn’t just make everybody involved perfect. See, what you are before getting married is what you will be once you are married. If you practice discontentment while you’re single, that’s what you will be once you are married. But if you first learn to be content, and find your joy in Christ while you are single, then you will when you are married too. Yes, there are things that only marriage can teach us. But it does just that. It teaches us. Meaning, we have to LEARN it. It doesn’t change us effortlessly, any more than singleness does. See, it’s kind of like your job. You have responsibilities, and work you have to do. If you get promoted, it doesn’t take away from your responsibilities and work – it adds to them. So marriage isn’t easier than singleness, but harder. (Now, in my opinion it’s also better, but that’s because I think the hardest things are probably hardest because they’re the best.)
So, yep! That’s my opinion (and of course very legitimate because I’ve experienced this…not) on the subject. 😉 Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day, by the way.
I was writing in my journal recently about sadness, and this is the…thing that emerged. I don’t know what you would call it. I hope it isn’t too incoherent. It was originally one huge paragraph and didn’t want split any farther than I managed to split it.
If God brings a river of sorrow across your road of life, don’t despair if there is no bridge. Sometimes God calls us to swim across the raging torrents. But take heart! Don’t cling to the banks. Don’t be afraid if you swallow a little water. It is bitter, I know, but in the end it will make you stronger. So strike out across the river! Swim boldly in His strength. And if the current is too strong for you, don’t give up. Don’t panic at how far down the river it sweeps you. Keep on swimming. It’s okay if your head goes under the water as long as it comes back up again. So keep swimming! Don’t despair and sink to the bottom.
When you reach the end of your strength, cry out for help and then stretch the end a little farther – keep your head up! See! Here He comes down the bank to save you. Fasten your gaze on Him and keep swimming until He wraps his arms around your shivering and exhausted frame. Rest on his shoulder and let Him carry you the rest of the way to shore. Listen to Him tell you how proud He is of the way you persevered, and how glad He is that you were swept so far downriver, because the current brought you right to the place where He was. Rejoice when He sets your feet on solid ground again, because He is rejoicing too. Lean on His arm while you catch your breath, and let Him support you until you regain the strength to walk. Then run with Him and find that you are stronger than you were on the other side of the river.
The horizon turns grey, just light enough to make the darkness of the rest of the sky show. A chill wind bends the trees to the south and the birds all huddle out of the icy blasts. It looks like another dreary morning. Then suddenly all that changes. The sun finds a hole in the clouds obscuring the sky, and streams of fire turn the dreary clouds into a whirl of color and beauty. Suddenly the cold doesn’t matter so much.
Have you ever noticed how necessary clouds are to the beauty of the sky? Oh yes, clear cloudless nights are mind-bogglingly beautiful, but what about sunrises? Without clouds a sunrise is mostly just an orange glow (which is still pretty in it’s own way). The most gorgeous sunrises always have clouds. The clouds are what make them so beautiful.
Isn’t it interesting how some of the most beautiful things only happen after some kind of hardship or pain? The life and warmth of Spring only comes after the bitter cold of Winter, and a butterfly only becomes a butterfly after undergoing the struggles of the cocoon. Why are the most beautiful things so closely linked to pain?
I believe it is because God knows how prone we are to take things for granted, and He loves us far too much to let the most beautiful things pass by unappreciated. We can’t appreciate the joy He gives us until we have first become familiar with sorrow. We can’t fully receive the peace that passes understanding until we’ve experienced chaos. The hardships of life make the most beautiful things possible, and they also make it possible for us to really see them.
There will always be clouds in our lives, and sometimes they will be so thick that the sun cannot break through to reveal their beauty. There will always be times when the pain is so terrible we can barely think, and it doesn’t look like it could ever be made into something good. But take heart! When those days come, fasten your gaze on God. Don’t stop to look at the clouds or to feel the pain. Focus on God, because He is the one who can part the clouds to let the sun through, and He is the one who can heal the pain. And He is the one who can turn hardships into beauty.