Good

Good

“This is a time of abundance in your life. Your cup runneth over with blessings. After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine. I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment. I delight in providing it for you.” (Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, entry for November 12th, pg. 331).

***

Surely she isn’t writing these words to me; she’s missed the mark on this one, Lord. Abundance? Lush meadows? Ease and refreshment? Are you talking to me, Lord, about the current season I’m in or regarding the one I knew a few seasons back? Sure, I’d like the romp of lush meadows and warm sunshine right about now, but currently it all feels more like a slow crawl through the dismal swamp. Maybe next season, but right now, I think I’ll save Sarah’s words … your words … for another day. Another time when abundance seems a better fit with my current living conditions.

This is the conversation I had with God a few days ago after reading my morning devotional. Ever felt this way? That somehow the words written don’t quite match up with the dailyness of your life? It kind of bothered me… this “imagining” by Sarah on my behalf regarding the current condition of my life. After all, we’ve never met. She isn’t wearing my shoes, and she certainly isn’t holding the pen for my book—my journey with Jesus. If she were holding the pen, her words would have read more like a tragedy rather than a triumph. Why?

Because these have been some hard weeks for me. Not devastating, just hard. Just more crawling than running. More questions than answers. More frustrations than smooth sailing. As I write this tonight, my heart is full of ponderings and wonderings and hopes that one day soon, all will make sense. But right now it doesn’t, and I realize that I don’t have a clue about how all of my “this” is going to work itself out in the days to come.

And mostly, I’m OK with the not knowing, but sometimes the not knowing fills my heart with heaviness, keeping the lush meadows of God’s goodness seemingly out of reach. But then, something like what happened around our dinner table tonight happens.


A reminder to me about the goodness of my life. About how for every “thing” contrary and difficult that wanders into my world, none of it is enough to diminish the worth of my day. That, in fact, there is lush and warm sunshine and abundance in my every day because I don’t live my days in isolation. I live them with Jesus. And wherever Jesus is, cups runneth over with blessings ten thousand beside. That for all of the ways I could call this day “less,” there is One who calls my day “more.”

Not because I live in temporal pleasure, but rather because I live with eternity in reach.

I don’t wake up each day because I did something to deserve another day’s privilege. I wake up each morning because my Father holds my life and breath in his hands and has decided that another day is worthy of my embrace. I get the bounty of this day because he’s given me this day to enjoy, to ponder his abundance in my life and to find my thanks despite the chaos going on around me.

Life rarely makes sense to me. I’ve long since given up trying to put tidy parameters around my day in-day out. I simply live my days. Sometimes in thanks; sometimes with complaints. But tonight as I sat around a makeshift candlelit dinner brought about through the imaginations of two young children, I quietly confessed my discontent with my day … my life … and asked God for more tea-light treasures to be my portion.

This is my life today, and it is enough … more than enough to warrant Sarah’s pen on my behalf. I feel God’s warm sunshine despite the coolness of my season. I taste God’s abundance despite the famine of my season. I walk the lush meadows despite the rocky soil of my season. And I drink the cup of overflow despite the thirst of my season.

Seasons come and go, friends, but our God? Well, he never leaves. He is the same in all our seasons. Never once has he diminished in his covenantal goodness to us. We may be blinded by the conditions of our seasons in seeing that goodness, but his presence predicates his overflow. His presence assures us of his participation in our dailyness.

And wherever God is, is a place of good living. In my heart. In yours. We are the carriers of an extraordinary “good.” Let us spend this week acknowledging our lives for what they are.

Good.

He has declared us accordingly because he is good eternally. And that is enough to warrant my heart’s thanks in all the seasons of my life. May it be the same for you. As always…

peace for the journey,

post signature

PS: The winner of the Gatlinburg give-away is #17 Saleslady 371. Congrats to you! Please send me your snail mail via my e-mail, and I’ll have this to you this week. Shalom.

You might also like...

33 Responses to Good

  1. Hi Elaine. I am visiting from another blog and your post was exactly what I needed to read this very minute. This last month has been very hard on me and I have been doubting and complaining. However, I am reminded that God is big enough and He can handle it. He is also loving me right through it! Thank God!

    Loved reading this.

    Jennifer

  2. How very encouraging…I especially liked…"That for all of the ways I could call this day “less,” there is One who calls my day “more.”…Amen….

  3. Beautiful post. His grace truly is enough, isn't it? All benefit from God's common grace, but when we acknowledge the LORD's sovereignty and submit to Him as our Adonai, the Lord, and Master of our lives with heartfelt thanksgiving, He invites us to join Him at the table of Amazing grace. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
    Blessings to you Elaine.
    Joyfully,
    Wylie

  4. I love this post. This year has been unbelievably hard. I lost my Mom to cancer in September and I'm still hurting. I miss her so much. She was my mentor in the faith. She taught me how to live for Christ but also how to die for Christ.
    Thanks for sharing
    Cyndi

  5. Elaine – its amazing how sometimes it seems that my heart is the one who penned another's post.

    My heart resonates clear with this today. You have blessed me as always and I am better for having been here today.

    Love you friend.

  6. "I taste God’s abundance despite the famine of my season. I walk the lush meadows despite the rocky soil of my season. And I drink the cup of overflow despite the thirst of my season."

    I confess…this is a challenge for me on some days. Being able to live my life in this manner EVERY day is the key to kingdom living!

    The candlelight pics are beautiful. I love candles, as you know! Now, a question…the candle holders that look like stained glass…are they shades of brown? If so, I've got two just like 'em. 🙂

  7. I've been roiling around in my Dark Night and I missed a giveaway to Gatlinburg? Good grief, I better get over myself. Speaking of lush meadows and whatnot, I was right there with you in the beginning. I've been in a tough place lately. Thanks for helping me step out of it, Elaine…like you always do.

    luv to you,
    laura

  8. I am in a "season," and it's one of those "What in the world are you doing, Lord?" sort of moments in my life. I finally accepted the freedom of not understanding.

    I appreciate you, dear friend.

    Love,

    Andrea

  9. Elaine, sometimes we go through those seasons of difficulty. I am going through one right now too. But I am keeping my eyes and ears open for the lessons the Lord is teaching me during this refining process. They are hard lessons to learn but if I want to be right in the center of His will, I desire to be refined and allow Him to chip away the parts of me that don't reflect Jesus.

    So many changes are happening in my life and I'm learning to trust God instead of trying to do my own fixing. He has given me a sense of peace about it all when in the past I never had that feeling. I believe I am accepting the circumstances, knowing they are for my good and His glory. And that is what I desire.

    During the next few months, I'll be able to share more fully about what has been happening in my life. But for now, know that being on journey with God is a journey that is worth everything to be on and in the midst of trusting Him, He provides us with His peace.

    Love you,
    Debbie

  10. "I don’t wake up each day because I did something to deserve another day’s privilege. I wake up each morning because my Father holds my life and breath in his hands and has decided that another day is worthy of my embrace."

    "And wherever God is, is a place of good living. In my heart. In yours. We are the carriers of an extraordinary 'good.'"

    Elaine, I must confess that yesterday, although a carrier of an extraordinary 'good', I did not live as such. I did not live my hours worthy of the gift of the days breath. There was much hard and ugly in yesterday and my heart did not respond in Christ-likeness. Natural man responded in frustration, rooted in jealousy and insecurity. A day that began with great joy, was painted black by a phone call that accused with words that hurt and left my stomach in knots all day. Oh that I had stopped right then, dropped to my knees and surrendered the situation to the Lord, how different the rest of my day could have be coloured.

    May I find my thanks in today,
    Joy

  11. I have learned over the past 30 years with my walk with the Lord. During the dark seasons, even though my flesh does not "feel" my spirit man is in a state of growth and HE is just a footstep in front and if I continue in those prints… the season changes…….. and there has been much growth.

  12. Hey Mrs. Elaine:)

    I'm glad you had a good trip here in East TN!:) I am excited too, it won't be long before baby girl is here! She's a mover, she likes to move esp. when I listen to or sing music:) I liked your post tonight, I am thoroughly confused my some things in my life right now too. I want to have His perspective on everything and everyone around me. I want to know Him better.

    Blessings to you today Mrs. Elaine,

    katiegfromtennessee

  13. If ever I have learned anything it is that God never leaves us no matter what season we are in and that is a comforting thought to me as I go through the many seasons of life and often without truly understanding fully but knowing God was there helped me to know that this to would pass and I would be stronger for it.

    blessings
    Tammy

  14. Oh, Elaine. I feel like you wrote this piece from inside my head. What a powerful reminder for ME of the good. Thank you, my sweet sister. You may have been called to write this piece just for me. Praying!

  15. As many posted, I agree– you wrote this one for me:) I am so thankful I wake each day to see what next God has planned for me:) Not always my liking but I am trusting that He knows best.
    You are so blessed to have two children do that for you:))

  16. "Because these have been some hard weeks for me. Not devastating, just hard. Just more crawling than running. More questions than answers. More frustrations than smooth sailing."

    That's me. That's my heart. That's right where I am now.

    With His help, I will not focus on the lack of.

    But I'll set my eyes and my heart on the abundance.

    Of His blessings.

    His love.

    His faithfulness.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Sweet dreams.

  17. I love the reminder that wherever Jesus is, my cup runneth over. I also know the feeling of crawling in sanctification. That is what we do. We do live in abundance because of whose we are.

    Thank you for the words,
    Blessings,
    Lori

  18. Elaine, you said: "He is the same in all our seasons….. And wherever God is, is a place of good living. In my heart. In yours. We are the carriers of an extraordinary "good."

    I praise God that HE allows us to be carriers of an extraordinary "good". I always want to be where God is. AMEN.

  19. Elaine, Thanks for such an eloquent reminder that, regardless of the season we are in, life is good and GOD IS GOOD. He IS always with us and there is ALWAYS much for which to be thankful. AMEN!

  20. A timely message!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Congratulations to Mary from Piles of Smiles. She's precious just as you are Elaine.

    Hugs and love.

  21. I feel God’s warm sunshine despite the coolness of my season. I taste God’s abundance despite the famine of my season. I walk the lush meadows despite the rocky soil of my season. And I drink the cup of overflow despite the thirst of my season.

    I especially needed this right now. I'm in a 'cool' season right now. Not living in rainbow days lately. Part of that is my own preoccupation with other things… not meaning to be, but life happens sometimes.

    But you've reminded me this morning that we all go through these seasons and that just because we may not 'feel' God as strongly, it doesn't mean He isn't there!

    It is in these days that we are called to show our faith.

  22. This is exactly the reminder I needed this morning. I have been feeling like I'm crawling the last week too – but God wants me to stand up and bask in His glory! Thank you so much for showing me that God chose today for me to LIVE ABUNDANTLY!!! I love coming to visit you… 🙂

  23. So much truth in what you've said, Elaine. It all comes down to putting things in perspective, doesn't it? God is good, and we are recipients of His amazing bounty each and every day — even in the rough, dry times. A good reminder for this season of Thanksgiving.

    Blessings, friend!
    Cheryl

  24. Hey Elaine!

    My heart echo's Beth's..One Blessed Nana! Your heart penned my heart "words".

    My favorite part…"I feel God's sunshine despite the coolness of my season". I was just reading the verses of an old hymn this morning "Sunshine in My Soul" and verse three spoke to my heart and I think it will bless you as well…..

    "There is music in my soul today; For when the Lord is near, the dove of peace sings in my heart, the flowers of grace appear"!

    Even though I don't "feel" God's sunshine in the coolness of my season" His warmth and precious Heavenly songs of peace and flowers of grace are springing forth all around me!! Thank you Jesus!!

    Thanks Elaine for speaking the same "language of the heart" today!

    Sweet Blessings!
    Jackie

  25. Just earlier today I was thinking about a reflection on seasons in the book you sent me (Anonymous by Alicia Chole)… how every course in life is like the main course to God – every day is a gift to see His glory, His goodness. Thanks for this!

  26. I haven't been making my way around lately. Largely because my own 'not knowing' keeps me off balance.

    Thank you for sharing your not knowing though. I'm working on mine. (I'll have a post about it up in a couple of days.) I'm definitely going to try to get back in the habit of coming by; God uses you to speak to me so often.

    Mary

  27. What can I add? The post itself is good, and colors the good hues of my heart.

    Some seasons are bitterly cold, if not turbulent. Thank God we live them out in community. It is good.

    Blessings,
    Kathleen

  28. Sweet, much needed truth for my day. Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts (that capture beautifully some of my days as of late…)

    Love & blessings,
    Tracy

  29. I know just how you feel. One day I clicked on one my followers to go to his blog, and I saw my poem on there! I was horrified that people actually do this. I nicely asked him to remove it, and he did. But that sure left me feeling funky…

  30. I've been doing a lot of meditating and reflecting on difficult life seasons and yet finding God in it. I love Henri Nouwen's thoughts, “The experience of God’s presence is not void of pain. But the pain is so deep that you do not want to miss it since it is in this pain that the joy of God’s presence can be tasted. This seems close to nonsense except in the sense that it is beyond sense and, therefore, hard to capture within the limits of human understanding. The experience of God’s unifying presence is an experience in which the distinction between joy and pain seems to be transcended and in which the beginning of a new life is intimated.”