Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Under the Shadow - But Out of the Nest

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
Psalm 57:1

I've always pictured a mother hen with her little chicks tucked safely in the nest and under her wings when I read this passage. I know there is a hiding place we find in God. A refuge from the storms of life. That sounds like a stationary place, a singlular location. And frankly, I like the nest. It's warm and cozy. "Safe" is such a good feeling!

But as I was driving through the neighborhood this week, I noticed two large birds soaring over the pastureland and something shifted for me. With their great wings outstretched they cast quite a shadow on the grass below, and that shadow moved. It was not stationary at all, it was in constant motion.

Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it. Isaiah 31:5

I see God hovering over me, shielding me....AS I MOVE. It's a little scary, but maybe it's time to leave the warmth of the nest. It's time to venture out into the world, trusting that we are still under His shadow.

Remember Genesis? "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters..." It was with His Spirit in that hovering position that God began the process of creation. The nest is a place of recovery, but the hovering shadow is a place of creation. What is He creating in me?

And God said "Let there be....and it was so."

Where do you see yourself? Safely tucked in the nest? Or out under the hovering shadow?

(A special thank you to Wild Leek Photography for use of your picture "Mother's Wing".)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snow Steps

It's 2 below today is Bismarck, ND; with a 60 percent chance of snow. Brrrr.

I grew up in those Dakota winters. Got up each morning (with the help of my father's voice booming down to my basement bedroom) to deliver the local newspaper door to door. I can picture myself trudging through the snow in my moon boots with The Bismarck Tribune on my back. It was manageable, aside from the Sunday edition which could get pretty hefty. This is probably the root cause of each of my spinal subluxations.

There is something so beautiful about freshly fallen snow, tiny crystals piled up like a sparkling white blanket to cover the dead frozen ground. It's breath-taking. When the temperatures really dip that happens - it will take your breath away! We were always careful to bundle up and breathe through a scarf. I miss the snow, but I sure don't miss the cold.

I remember a game we used to play in our backyard. My daddy would shuttle-step through the snow to create a giant wheel. Then he would add spokes to the wheel and in the center was the home-base hub. The game was called Fox and Goose and the "fox" would chase all the "geese" around the circle. Inside the hub was safety. The critical part was to stay in the snow path that Dad had created with his foot steps. Any steps outside the spokes were easy to spot and you were "caught".

It's much less work, especially when the snow is deep, to walk inside the snow steps that someone else has created. My parents did that for us. They plowed the way through the snow in the backyard and they plowed the way in knowing Christ, in trusting God, in living a life of faith.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
Psalm 27:23
Check out the pronouns in that second phrase "He" delights. That is a capital "H". God delights in our steps. The steps that He has ordered for our lives. Lovely, isn't it? God delights in laying out a path before us. He delights when we say "show me the way wherein I should walk". He delights when we create a path that others could follow in and find safety.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Commitment to Change..Together

Our second article for Austin Faith and Family magazine is now available!
Click on the January magazine cover to open the online version.
Our Journey For Two column is on page 18 - Commitment to Change...Together