It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night..For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the work of your hands…The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock and there is no wickedness in him.”
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Twenty four years ago this week, my husband and I arrived in the little village in this picture to spend the first days of our married life, and we attended the church during our visit. We had no particular reason for choosing this place, other than that we thought no one would recognise either of us! This village is now one of three centres of worship in our parish, and I come here every Sunday evening to meet with fellow believers (in a different building), to worship the God whose ways are truly beyond our understanding! This is a place where I now delight to be at home, to be known and recognised.
It is marvellous to me to look back, and to acknowledge that my Heavenly Father knows so much better than I do what is right and good, so that all the ways he has led us over the years have brought us to this place at the right time. Two city born folk, finding themselves utterly at home in this remote seaside parish; adjusted completely to the intricately connected community way of living, and thankful for the slower pace of life. Truly, our God is wise in all his ways, and his works are a source of gladness to his grateful children.
It is good for us, when in times of uncertainty and adjustment, or seeking God’s way for our lives, to look back and consider all the paths he has led us down to reach this current resting place. It is good to catch the racing thoughts, the anxious internal conversations, and to bring them still into the moment, the present, and turn them into thankful prayer to God for his untiring, unfailing goodness.
As I consider the pattern of my life here, and continue to seek God’s guidance as to how my time is best spent, I am tempted to worry and fret – and that achieves nothing, while making me at the same time very unhappy and unpleasant to live with. When I give in to this temptation, the devil wins and peace is lost.
Thanks be to God, that he uses many things to catch our attention and draw us back to himself, unflagging in his determination to bless us and help us to grow in resilient, obedient faith. So today, as I laboured in my garden, I was able to silence the relentless internal complaint, and to rest in the moment that the Lord was giving me; sunshine on my back, strength in my arms and legs, soil to dig and plants to nourish and enjoy. I can even rejoice that I have leisure in which to become anxious – not for the anxiety but for the luxury of unhurried days, and the growing sense that I can enjoy my Lord’s company without rushing from one good work to another!
May I learn to rest more peacefully in his shadow; may I be deaf to voices that drive me to compare myself to others, and hear only his voice saying ” Darling child, I love you so much, spend time with me, tell me your thoughts, tell me how you love what I give you.”
I want to trust him for everything, and he sees my heart and knows this. If there are things that he wants me to do, is he not able to show me? If I see no clear signs, and have asked and looked and waited, then for the moment I can perhaps rest more deliberately in his presence, allowing his love to refresh me, and trusting that when the time comes, the God who has been the author of all my life story will reveal the next chapter and lead me gently into it..
aw that was lovely, it reminds me of me settling into my house in Mosshead. just suddenly I was walking the dog and realised how settled she was and then it struck me that I was too! just to add to this – in some ways can hardly believe that you have been away from here for over a year now. was on duty at TLC on Thursday and had a wee chuckle at the fact that in some ways it seems like no time at al that I did the duties with you!
loved the idea of being incognito when you were on honeymoon but now are happy to be recognised! love it.
look forward to catching up with you when we are both in Gairloch at the same time! ho ho ho!
have had a wee corner turn myself of late, in the terms of not pushing against doors, accepting doors that have closed and looking forward to new doors that will open for me in time. that is such a feeling of liberation and am grateful to God for making me realise this,
a sense of contentment has come to me – in a way you will relate to this because it started by me joining a choir! had hardly joined when it broke for summer recess but they ran workshops in July and I went to one of them on the 22nd and oh do you know it was just so joyful Elspeth and remembered the joy of lifting your voice with others and all the harmonies, oh it was lovely so am so looking forward to the new session! perhaps it is partly to do with the privilege of reaching a new decade and it being such fun as have managed to keep in touch with so many friends from school in Troon and we are celebrating together. great fun and the fact that we have health! may actually start doing a bit more keep fit! because I realise how valuable it is, anyway thanks again, and didn’t mean to chat on for so long! love and blessings from Mana XOX