Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. -Psalm 37:3
Randyman’s family is coming to visit this weekend. The house has been an unmitigated disaster, due to my over a month-long flare and what seems an endless struggle against pain and fatigue. What I do accomplish in a day’s time is done between frequent breaks and bouts of rest as my back begins to spasm or exhaustion threatens to overwhelm me. There isn’t a lot of ‘staying power’ connected with this disease. I often feel like there is a dark cloud over my life because of it.
My niece has long urged me to try taking turmeric. It’s a spice, yellow in color, middle eastern in origin. It has anti inflammatory properties and of course, prior to modern medicine, it was always natural substances that were used to cure and to treat,so although I know it isn’t a cure, I finally remembered to order some gel caps online, as I cannot stand the taste of it in liquid and needed to get enough down each day to see if it helped.
It’s helping a LOT. Although each morning, my hands and feet have been quite swollen and painful to use, it goes away quickly once I push myself and the better part of the day I am fairly pain free and alert. I broke up the house chores I wanted to get done into 7 days. We had a new freezer come in so it added a LOT to the work load, driving the 4 wheeler back and forth from the boss’ folks house where the meat was, organizing it and finding a home for the things that used to be in THAT space...which of course meant EVERYTHING in the house got moved. We live in a house of no cupboards or closets so storage is always a problem.Everything in it is pretty much in plain view (and dusty) which poses a huge challenge for me, having never been the domestic nor artistic type. Not so much that I don’t want to be, I just never was before. A lot of prayer went into this week, because before it ever started, I was over come and overwhelmed with just how I was going to get it all accomplished. Cleaning the house was not the ONLY thing that had to be done. There was a large chunk of suet, and 3 huge leaves of lard that had to be rendered right away as they were not going to fit in a freezer and the outside temps are warming up during the day now, so it would all spoil. So add rendering tallow and big, greasy pots to the equation each day, on top of cleaning, milking, processing milk, and cooking and there is a pretty hefty day’s work for anyone.
So far so good. It is already Thursday and I only have the bathrooms, our bedroom and a bit left in the living room to finish. I think it is actually doable.
During my breaks, I ponder the above referenced verse, about God giving us the desires of our heart. I discovered this truth several years ago and found that like many things to do with the Lord, it was not as we might think. (His thoughts really ARE higher than our thoughts) To the unacquainted human heart, these words would seem to suggest that merely for the gift of your affections, God would become a cosmic Santa and grant you all the things you might want.
Even in our most flawed and reprobate state, we know that would not be a good thing. Just as allowing children to gorge themselves on a diet of straight soda and candy would be foolish and unloving, so would God be amiss to grant our every wish, greedy and undiscerning as we tend to be.
Nevertheless, the verse is true. We put the emphasis on the “give” but he put the emphasis on the “desires”. While He does not grant us every wish, He does give us the DESIRE for the things He wants to give us. A huge difference in theory but in practice it works perfectly. Even more than perfectly. Better than perfect, even.
Realize that whatever you have a passion for, whatever things draw your heart, those are the things that inspire you. Inspire, literally means “God breathed”. So, God breathed those desires into your heart and He will lead you to them if you are willing to follow.
Whereby I wanted to ride forever, have big horse barns, nice trailers and trucks, breed and raise expensive horses and all that goes with it. I’d already had a pretty successful run of training and teaching and competing for a couple of decades. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t totally satisfying me and it was stressful a lot of the time, dealing with colts and the public.
His desire was to bring us here, to this ranch, among this ranch family who treats us as their own, provide a ‘backyard’ that is hundreds of square miles, a milk cow, chickens, goats and sheep and my incredible Maremma dogs. While I have been ‘indisposed’ by this disease, I have learned to make all my own dairy products, provide all our food from scratch ingredients, garden, sew, crochet...He gave me an endless number of things to do that I love doing and the means by which to learn and practice it. If I had a choice now, between what I wanted and what He wanted to give me, there is no doubt, I am excited about His choice. He knows better than I do what I want as well as what I really need. We don’t always agree, but He is always right.
For the better part of this past week I was able to be insanely busy and get a lot done. Today, there is another snow storm coming in and the barometer change has caused the pain to return. It’s in my hands, feet and back, which are what I have used so much this week. It’s not as deep and widespread as it can get, so I feel fortunate that there is still improvement in the amount of inflammation I usually have.
Instead of finishing, as I had planned, I will submit and enjoy the affection freely given by my big ‘polar bears’, (Our Maremma Livestock Guardian dogs).
Cletus oozes (yes, oozes not eases...he is so fluid and slithery when he sneaks up onto the couch) his 120 lb frame up next to me and tenderly presses his head against my chest. He can tell I am a little down today. As I bury my fingers in his thick fur I can feel myself relax and a smile finally comes, in spite of the pain, as I think about how wonderful it is, to have the love of a small child, or a dog. They love without condition or forethought. It always makes me feel better when they are around.
I won’t be able to complete the list of things I really wanted to get finished before our family comes, but there is still one more day. He may yet help me do it...and if not, the world is still turning and no one in heaven is wringing their hands over it and this storm too, shall pass. If it’s something I really need to get done, He’ll help me.
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.” -Francis Chan
Are there things on your want-to-do list that you have had to just let go? How did you feel about it?
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5