I was born in the middle of the U.S. Actually, it was western middle, Minnesota to be exact (You have to say the name with a slight lilt at the end to be correct). It is a beautiful state with farmland that stretches on forever. One can drive the gravel roads in the country for a long time and still see fields of whatever has been planted. Last time I was in Minnesota I marveled at the green of the fields as it was early spring. Of course making my home in the Pacific NW I'm a lover of green so when I looked across the fields it was like the ocean moving in the wind. It was all green, absolutely breathtaking and wonderful.
Now I live in the state of Washington which borders the Pacific Ocean on its west side. I can take a drive and in a little over two hours be sitting in the sand looking out at the ocean and not see the other side of that ocean. It is majestic and awe inspiring. I am often overcome with a sense of the power and glory of God sitting there looking out at the expanse of water deep and wide. It can be 90 degrees in the Vancouver/Portland area and in two hours drive west the temperature can drop 15 to 20 degrees and be so pleasant you forget just how hot you were.
When I was five I didn't have the knowledge of an ocean with the salty, foaming tide. But I am older (much older) now and have experienced both. With what I know, which scenario do you think I would choose on a hot summer day? Its pretty obvious and you would probably choose the ocean too. Now, I don't want to disregard my memory of the above picture (I'm the one standing on the sideline) because even now it is a good memory for me. I'm just saying that I probably won't be going swimming in a mud hole anytime soon. I would like to keep this memory fond ~ thanks!
Transition if you will with me to a thought that has been whirling around in my head of late. As some of you know we are looking for another church home. In our pursuit it is our hope to worship and hear God's Word preached well. Sometime this happens and sometimes it doesn't. But what strikes me is the little that people will be content with when there is so much more to be heard, rejoiced in and applied. This is such a sadness to me and yet I only have to look at my own heart and life to realize that so many times I'm happy with swimming in a mud puddle when I could be at the beach. I know that the Lord has so much in store for us because Scripture talks about the "riches of His glory" and "an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison". We are called a "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). Why is it, then, at times I feel like a disinterested observer when there is so much more to be had? It's not that I just see a problem but that I am a contributor to it also.
C.S. Lewis once said, “If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
The bottom line is this: I yearn for more. But I also realize that in myself I can't accomplish that which I yearn for. God help me and change me! Remove me from the satisfaction of the cow pond and let me exult in the things that you delight to show me. I am comforted when I read in Psalm 107:9 "For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things." And I am also encouraged when Psalms tells me "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" (119:32). So for now I will trust in the One who causes the yearning in my heart. Then I will be glad and give thanks knowing that it is Him who started the process anyway.
Update: Today was chemo day and the last of session four. Today I'm feeling fine but I think that I am realizing that there is a cumulative effect on my restless legs and knees. Some days are better than others and on the others it causes sleepless nights with some pain. Oh well ~ I know that it could be worse and what I have to deal with is bearable because I know that He doesn't give more than we can bear. I don't have chemo next week as we are gong camping and will have a week off of treatment. If all goes well I should be done with treatments by the end of September. Again ~ there is much gratitude for all of you. Your prayers and words of encouragement are great treasures to us. Thank you!