Monday, August 15, 2011

Turning That Frown Upside Down

     "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son." Romans 8:26-29 MSG

     She was disappointed this morning because her horse was out in the pasture when we got to the stables.  Looking forward to her Monday morning bath time with her muddy horse, only to chase her to no avail, left her pouting in the car on the way home.  I reminded her of the reasons she has to be thankful anyway.  I suggested that just maybe God knew that something bad might happen to her on her horse today and that was why it happened.  I taught her through some previous parables we already learned and a new one I just read today...

     Saturday night at church we played a game, "The Feet Game", for lack of a better name.  All of our children got under a long row of tables and parents took turns, blindfolded, trying to pick out the feet of their children.  You'd think this was easy, right?  Not so.  It was very hard.  We did several rounds of this game with hands and feet, switching between husbands, wives and children then we sat in a circle and discussed the outcome and our thoughts.  We spoke about knowing one another and knowing ourselves.  Sometimes we think we know each other really well, when maybe we really don't. That we should never be to quick to judge someone's intentions. And that God knows us better than we even know ourselves.   He knows what we are capable of even when we don't.  We should follow his lead and trust Him to take care of us and not be tossed to and fro by the ups and downs of life.

     A few years ago the kids and I read a story for school from a book called "In Grandma's Attic".  There was a story about a young pioneer girl who was really looking forward to the annual town picnic.  She counted down the days until the night before she came down with a terrible illness and couldn't go.  She was really looking forward playing by the river and had many adventurous feats planned for the day, as was usually the case, she being naturally fearless.  The day came and she was forced to stay home in bed.  It just so happened that all of her friends did go and play by the river and there had been a great deal of rain that season and it was high and roaring rapidly.  As they were making their way across, several of them fell in and would have been swept away if it had not been for their cautious ways and the fact that they stuck together and didn’t go out too far.  The moral at the end of the story was that if she had been well enough to go that she would have surely been swept away, because she was always going a step further than the other girls and that God must have had his hand in her being home safe and sound.
     Today I was reading my favorite blog, “A Holy Experience” by Ann Voskamp ( and she had this story that fit so well, especially since it even contained a horse. 
     How a white stallion had rode into the paddocks of an old man and all the villagers had congratulated him on such good fortune. And the old man had only offered this: “Is it a curse or a blessing? All we can see is a sliver. Who can see what will come next?”
     When the white horse ran off, the townsfolk were convinced the white stallion had been a curse. The old man lived surrendered and satisfied in the will of God alone: “I cannot see as He sees.”
     And when the horse returned with a dozen more horses, the townsfolk declared it a blessing, yet the old man said only, “It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”
     Then the man’s only son broke his leg when thrown from the white stallion. The town folk all bemoaned the bad fortune of that white stallion. And the old man had only offered, “We’ll see. We’ll see. It is as He wills and I give thanks for His will.”
     When a draft for a war took all the young men off to battle but the son with the broken leg, the villagers all proclaimed the good fortune of that white horse. And the old man said but this, “We see only a sliver of the sum. We cannot see how the bad might be good. God is sovereign and He is good and He sees and work all things together for good.”
     I’d like to think that I helped her.  She got quiet after this talk and didn’t really complain any more.  She either learned something or she wanted me to stop telling her stories.