We live in a somewhat rural area as our backyard is aligned with a neighbor’s cow pasture. They also have a few horses and donkeys. When I wrote this article (or started it this past summer), a few calves had escaped through a gap in the fenceline and wandered into our yard, munching grass but staying close by to the other cattle. I’m not sure why they mistook our yard as being any better grass than what they had but it made me think about my own discontent, always looking for greener pastures. If I buy this then I’ll be better off…if we move there, it will make sense, if I do that, my life would improve…the list goes on and I have no doubt I am not the only one who suffers with these thoughts!
I read in Joyce Sequichie Hilfer’s book, ‘Think On These Things’, “We have often heard it said that God never closes one door unless He opens another. It is a great comfort to know we never really lose when we believe, for any defeat can be turned to good if we will absorb the lesson in it. And yet, how often we refuse to go through that door that has been opened for us. It is so much easier to stand back and wail about the closed one. There seems to be a certain amount of glorification in defeat. It is a subtle something that hides in us and keeps us from doing well that which we know we are capable of doing. If we show strength, we are afraid we will have to stand alone…Sometimes a door will close for us because that particular one would have caused us more unhappiness, but it never closes for punishment. God is love and love does not punish, nor does it have any power but to give what is right and good for us. With this knowledge, we can by grace walk through those doors that open to us and know it is right.”
I will quote further on her page..
“Everyone has access to a better and happier life through ideas, if we can trust the Lord to give us the will and courage to follow through on them.”
I am still
dealing healing from a systemic candida infection in my body. I am better, but I deal with daily pain, setbacks if I eat the wrong thing or a hidden ingredient I’m not supposed to have. What I hate (and I dislike the word ‘hate’) about ‘sickness’ is the selfishness it ensues in me. I am always looking for those greener pastures, thinking of myself, not fully engaged in a moment. Discontent, essentially. I read a bit in Max Lucado’s book, Traveling Light, the chapter entitled, ‘The Prison of Want’ something that stood out to me…
“What is the one thing separating you from joy? How do you fill in this blank: ‘I will be happy when __________?’ When I am healed. When I am promoted. When I am married. When I am single. When I am rich. How would you finish this statement?”
Wow. That really stopped me. I haven’t been healed yet but I am in the process and I haven’t really been happy or full of joy. A bit satirical and sometimes emotional. A bit lonely. A bit negative. Pretty much who I am not and who I don’t want to be especially around my child. *sigh*
How I interpret this is that I can achieve the life I envision by choosing to trust God with all of the details. He has a plan and my trust and contentment in HIS plan for me can only lead to greener pastures. It does strike me funny that even when I know I have everything I need, I FEEL I need more and everything is not enough. (Someone can probably get a top 40 hit with that inspiration…) Not just physically, but emotionally or with time or planning. If you know me personally or followed any of my health affliction I have blogged then you might guess my joy has been on hold by my health. And you would be correct. Knowing I’m saved, or this affliction is temporary (even though it’s been over a year now but fighting it for 5 months) does not make anything easier. Knowing others have been through far worse and survived doesn’t make me feel any better.
And then…I have to choose. To go on. To overcome. To trust. To just keep moving forward even if I just took ten back.
Be sure to check out www.peoplehope.org if you or someone you know is dealing with a chronic illness or auto-immune disease to know there is a community out there full of support. And healing. It’s a process.