Monday, February 19, 2007
My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Let’s define the terms here. Let’s say the soul is internal, emotional, essential and eternal part of us.
Let’s say that boasting is the expression of that which we are proud.
I woke up this morning neither happy nor sad but just awake and figuring that was as good a start as any. Then I heard those Spring-heralding birds outside and there was a little lift at the corners of my mouth. I started thinking about tulips blooming and blue sunshiny skies and open windows and deep breaths in that didn’t freeze my lungs.
You might wonder why I would find so much pleasure in these little ideas when I’m a self-proclaimed winter lover?
Because sometimes when you’re not really looking for it God talks to you. We all have the experience of praying and intentionally trying to hear him, but like in any good relationship the other person will approach us when there’s something worth saying even when we aren’t asking for it. Today He did that. He told me something and I’d like to pass it on because I think it goes for you too.
That’s it. If you’re in a rush, you can leave now and take that with you.
I’m given to melancholy, depression, pessimism and doubt. I am wired for low self-esteem. There are a million things I could dwell on to pull me down. Not because my life is hard but because that’s how satan talks to me. And yes, sometimes people you don’t want to hear from butt in with their two cents too.
If you would’ve asked me a little while ago what I was boasting in this morning, I’d have probably cracked a joke and dodged the question. There are too many things I need to work on to be sitting around boasting.
But then God spoke to me. The glory of it is that I am not in a depressed state. I’ve been in that dark hole where I’m begging for a reason to get out of bed. I’m not there. I’m really quite content, reality of my various short-comings and burdens not withstanding. I was just feeling neutral and still, God noticed me! He wanted me to feel better than neutral! He wanted me to be encouraged, to know I was noticed even when I was neither doing great spiritual things nor in great desperate need. His eyes wandered the earth and fell on my in my ratty bathrobe with nothing particular happening and he stopped by to tell me to be encouraged.
Listen to the birds, notice the brightness of the sun turning the seasons back toward spring, remember the flowers pushing up last year and know that the hand of God will pushing them up through the earth this year. Realize the finest details do not escape Him.
You don’t have to be sad or happy to talk to the Father who loves you. In fact, he loves you so much he stops by to chat even when you’re about other business.
It reminds me of my Grampa Gerstein. Let me insert here that were my Grampa Gerstein alive he’d be thrilled at his multiple mentions in this blog and probably be printing them up. I assume in heaven he’s forcing Paul and Mother Theresa to read my blog.
Anyway, my Grampa was a dropper-inner. You never knew when he’d show up. Sometimes you’d look out into your back yard and there he’d be inspecting the trees or pulling weeds. Usually you’d see out your front window as his gray sedan pulled at a slightly too fast speed in front of the house and slammed to a stop blocking the approach to the driveway. Then in one motion this would happen; he’d slam the car into park causing it to rock a little, leap out and head up the walk. I’d rush to the front door to let him in. Generally he’d have a bag of cookies from the grocery store, specifically the maple shaped ones with maple frosting sandwiched in there. My favorites.
Sometimes he had an adventure in mind like heading toward the old Farm to check out antique shops or going out to lunch, probably at Dimitri’s or going to the apple orchard or finding a roadside stand to buy fresh green beans.
It didn’t require a celebration or a tragedy to inspire a Grampa drop by. He just wanted to see my face and give me some of my favorite cookies. There was encouragement in the air.
Today, if there’s nothing around you to find pride in and your soul is in neutral, God wants you to be encouraged. There’s a bird singing to you, there’s a flower that will bloom for you.
As for me, I think I just may go buy some maple cookies.