Because It Is Good For You

27 06 2013

carrotThis morning I had a coffee and a scone. A few hours from now I will be hungry because a scone isn’t (let’s be honest) nourishing.  A scone is essentially butter, flour, water and sugar with some fruit tossed in. A scone is satisfying to the pleasure center of my brain but it isn’t rocket-fuel. It contains no protein to speak of, fiber, vitamins or minerals worth noting. If you have a scone you might as well have a marshmallow; they are about the same.

I am reflecting on scones as I sip my coffee because 1 Timothy 4:6 says that I ought to “nourish” myself and that instruction is on the forefront of my mind. To be honest, I have been rather depleted lately and I know that I am, so I have been going through the motions of getting…..un-depleted.

Lest you think this is going well, let me clarify: it has just been OK. Not fast enough for my liking. Re-fuelling has not been as simple this time ‘round. The depletion goes deeper than I estimated and what I have done before, what I have loved, what has brought me joy feels like something someone else used to do.

Still, what is good for me? Carrots. Eating a carrot is good for a person.  So, I do things that are good for me and stare out the window only to discover there has been no noticeable improvement to my vision.  No; none at all. More than a teaspoon of vitamin A is required; more “carrots” over a longer period of time I suppose.

Valleys are valleys.  This is not profound until you are in one and find they are short on exits. Valleys are places you trudge through and some are trudgy-er than others.

My meandering thought: Once there were two people traveling through the same valley towards home. They both just wanted to get beyond it, and out to their loved ones waiting for them. The distance was the same, the path the same for the two of them and so they plodded, side-by-side, day after day. The one person constantly strained to see if a passageway had opened up straight to the other side. He pressed on and on towards where it might be, aching for an end to it all. The other kept going, but she also had lunch, and then a cup of tea a little later on, a nap each day and read a little. She pressed a fern between the pages of her journal and noticed things; like once a yellow song-bird warbled. There it was on a high limb of a weathered tree; she stopped to listen.

Nourish yourself, the Bible says, on the truths of your faith and the good instruction, which you have always followed. In this valley I have asked myself again and again, “What do you know?” Feelings right now are unreliable; but I have always known God to be reliable.

He says to me,

“Remain in me and I will remain in you….”

And “Trust me with all your heart and not what you think you understand at the moment….”

He clarifies: “My ways are not your ways….” when I offer Him sure-fire solutions.

He is in the “middle of the storm”, at the “table in the presence of my enemies”, seeing things from “beginning to end”.

As to my concerns, He loved those I love “first” and better than I. He will “work all things together for good.”

He counsels me about anxiety (“Cast it all on me”) and knows exactly what is on my mind (“Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely”) and so He calls me to “rest.”

As I go along He invites me to be like that second sojourner who noticed things on the valley path: notice My handiwork. My Lord calls me to consider: the stars, the mountains, the oceans, the trees, the birds, the flowers and even the ants as they also labor along. Read and remember how other people before me have despaired, and He gave them a good night’s sleep and food and sent someone to minister to them. With little time to spare, Jesus took time to hang out with children and enjoy them; there is something about being with kids that is good.  In the middle of His own nightmare, Jesus ate a feast and drank wine with His friends. Jesus wept when He needed to, slept, prayed, fellowshipped, took time away, and continued to use His gifts and walk with and stay connected to people.

This morning I had a coffee and a scone. Steel-cut oats would have been more nourishing, but what was healthy was taking a quiet hour to sit and talk and listen and be with a good friend…..and laugh; all things good for the soul. Wise and comforting, she heard me and then, most important of all, she prayed for me.

I still can’t see the end of it and I again walked out into a rainy day (what is with all this rain?) but it was a good time and I know this is how the valley will be traveled. I can’t imagine the future, the passageway…but maybe that is part of the point and part of the way God will have me live today: today.

Incidentally, the scone was delicious.

— Teresa Klassen

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2 responses

5 04 2016
Crystal Williams

Hey Teresa,
Thanks for your post. I’m currently in a valley myself. This section broke me as it’s exactly how I feel. “Re-fuelling has not been as simple this time ‘round. The depletion goes deeper than I estimated and what I have done before, what I have loved, what has brought me joy feels like something someone else used to do.”

I feel as though I should be further ahead, yet I look back yearning for the joy I was once had even in the most simple of things. I wonder at times if perhaps the Lord is teaching me that my joy is to be solely found in Him and His faithfulness, not things or experiences. Yet I believe He truly has given us all things for our enjoyment. So what is it that stops the joy from taking place in my heart? *sigh* It’d be so much easier to have these answered!

Yet, in it all, God IS working. This too is a part of His great plan for us both. I’m sure eventually we will be able to help comfort those in their valley as the Lord comforts us – with words of encouragement, good friends, prayer, His remarkable creations (have you heard the robins singing lately? Admittedly, in just the last few days there has been a flicker of joy in my heart at this beautiful sound) and of course scones (or in my case, cheese tea biscuits).

Eventually, we WILL be back on the mountaintop and rejoicing deeply in our Lord and Savior who has brought us there and taught us whatever it is in the journey.

Thanks also for the posts of your Mom. They have been a blessing to me. When I think of her a moment comes to mind where I know she greatly encouraged my heart with something she said, yet for the life of me it won’t come to mind. I do very much look forward to her book and am watching eagerly for a link to purchase it.

Oh! And a song for you! The very reason I wanted to comment! If you haven’t already got it, go right now (seriously, go!) to iTunes and buy Shane & Shane’s album titled Psalms Vol 2. Specifically the song “Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts). This song has been one of the greatest encouragements to my heart in this valley so far. Scripture put to music is thankfully the one thing I do still find joy in (though certainly not to the extent I once did). I pray it will fill your heart with joy as well. 🙂

Little preview:

Lord of hosts You’re with us
With us in the fire
With us as a shelter
With us in the storm
You will lead us
Through the fiercest battle
Oh, where else would we go
But with the Lord of Hosts

Your sister in Christ,
Crystal Williams

28 06 2016
teresaklassen

Wow…I have obviously not blogged in a long time!!! Thanks for this Crystal!

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