Rodeo . . .

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This isn’t my first rodeo.

In the course of my lifetime, I’ve lived in five different states, ten cities, and changed physical addresses at least eighteen times. My family and I are less than a week away from making it number nineteen.

A new home. New community. New ministry. New everything. Alongside the new, will arrive some old. It’s the old that sustains me. Strengthens me. Maintains me. That old?

God is near. (Ps. 145:18; James 4:8)

God.

Is.

Near.

When breathed in isolation, those three words hold enough theology, imagery, breadth, and depth to transition a heart from the old into the new. God and his nearness are old. God and his nearness are new. Never changing; ever the same. Ever present, active, and accurate. God simply and profoundly IS wherever I am. I cannot outrun his presence or hide from his heavenly GPS. He knows where I am and is willing to keep pace with my progression. Movement wins when God is with me.

This is how I can do this thing—keep making these moves and living the itinerant life. Knowing that God is near me keeps me upright in the saddle and focused on the finish line. Certainly, I’ve kicked up a little dust along the way, taken a tumble every now and again, and even knocked over a barrel on occasion. Each rodeo comes with its unique obstacles. But even then—even there in those moments of holding on for dear life—joy can be found. There’s something about the ride that trumps the risk.

To ride and rope and gallop alongside Jesus is to live life on the solid edge. This is how faith feels to me right now—dusty, wild, fast, and furious. I am hanging on for dear, sweet life. I’m resolved regarding the finish line, tenaciously gripping the reins in one hand while waving to the crowd with the other . . .

Just so you’ll know I’m still here. Just so you’ll know I haven’t given up. Just so you’ll know that I’m still committed to the ride, regardless of how bumpy it gets some days.

How grateful I am for the nearness of God and for this ride that draws me ever closer to his heart!

*Fair Warning: Number nineteen, here I come! Saddle up, and get ready to rodeo, friends. We’re in for the ride of our lives. May God grant us his favor, his strength, his discernment, his joy, and his peace for the journey that lies ahead. I thank you for the privilege of riding my horse next to yours.

PS: Because of our move, I won’t be online on a consistent basis for the next few weeks. If you’d like to be in touch, leave a comment with this post or feel free to e-mail me by clicking on this link. I look forward to catching up with all of you once the dust has settled.

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 Image credit: margojh / 123RF Stock Photo

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19 Responses to Rodeo . . .

  1. Love you and praying for you! Wishing Portland, Oregon was your number 19!

  2. Wow, you are headed on your 19th move! That is a lot. We moved often when I was younger, but haven’t as much since I’ve been an adult. Where are you headed, and what’s next for you? Blessings on your move, friend, and may God give you and your man great energy and unity int his new step.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

  3. Can’t imagine that many moves, my friend! Cannot.imagine! God is indeed near. You and all the Olsens are (and will be) in my prayers in the next few weeks. Love you.

  4. Praying for you as you begin this new road in your journey…but your soo right of course, no matter what the road, no matter where it takes us, He is right there beside us. So hang on and ENJOY the ride! HUGS

  5. “To ride and rope and gallop alongside Jesus is to live life on the solid edge.”

    You can tell by my blog…I love everything about horses. They are strong & wild, and yet gentle and loyal. They really become attached to specific people. Its as if they know who loves them with their whole heart. And this releases all the love they have to give. Horses are quite a bit like our faithful, loving, gentle, wild at heart Lord Jesus. You’re in good hands. Hang on ! Enjoy the ride with Jesus!

    praying for you all!
    May the favor of God and man
    continue to rest upon you
    at the next roundup!

    hugging you with my whole heart!
    patrina ><

    Trust in the Lord
    Prov 3:4-6

    …4 So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. …

  6. Now,this just got me. “I cannot outrun his presence or hide from his heavenly GPS. He knows where I am and is willing to keep pace with my progression.” All I can say is Praise God. I love that wherever I go, He is already there. He truly is Jehovah Shammah….the Lord is there. He’s already in your next home, your next city, your next church, your next whatever. He goes before you, my friend. You go with my prayers.

  7. Loved this post, Elaine! Yup, this life often feels like a ride on the back of a bucking bronco! And the times when we get thrown off are brutal sometimes. But, it is the Lord who helps us get back up in the saddle, and carry on the ride!

    Can’t wait to hear what God teaches you in this new move. I know He’ll bring you much!

    Yippie-kay-ay-eh!!

    GOD BLESS!