October 10, 2016

Stretching or Snapping?

Last evening we went for dinner with friends... kids at a booth nearby.  I don't know, maybe it was the simplicity of such an impromptu gathering at a local Italian diner, and the familiarity of old friends, and the simple food that all came together for an obvious realization that our life is really crazy right now.  Ever been in a season like this?  When you feel like you're pilgrimaging (is that a word?- spellcheck doesn't think so!) through the valley of Baca, where  robbers camp out on every side, waiting for tired ones, whose strength is running low and whose water's almost gone.  When who you've been in a more fertile season has become somewhat blurred to your current circumstances.  When you continue trudging through, though, because you know you can't stop in the valley, as there's no permanent life here in this wasteland, which is a transition of sorts.  Must. Push. Through.

This morning the kids and I were reading Psalm 84.  And then, I was reminded too of how God had taught me three years ago through Isaiah 54:2-3 to believe Him when he said, "Enlarge your house. You are going to need a bigger place; don’t underestimate the amount of room that you’ll need. So build, build, build.  You will increase in every direction to fill the world.  Your offspring will take over the nations; Your people will revitalize long-abandoned towns."

It's funny how, at the outset of an adventure, you never quite realize the extent to which you'll need to stretch to grow into the promise you were given.  Enlarge, I understand... but, stretch out... I'm beginning to get it!  Without the stretching, there's no enlarging, no extending.  Stretching is HOW we expand!  If we're not stretching, we're snapping, and sometimes it's a very thin thread that makes the difference between the two.

In this season we are being expanded.  No kidding!

Psalm 84:4-7
How blessed are those who make Your house their home,
    who live with You;

-->  they are constantly praising You.
Blessed are those who make You their strength,
    for they treasure every step of the journey [to Zion].[c]
On their way through the valley of Baca,
    they stop and dig wells to collect the refreshing spring water,
    and the early rains fill the pools.
They journey from place to place, gaining strength along the way;
    until they meet God in Zion.

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