Silhouettes

Joshua 1:9   Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”      New King James

It’s become common practice here to set cut-outs shaped like large black Labrador retrievers on the local sod farms in order to discourage deer, ducks and geese from wintering on the farms. You would think that their droppings would encourage plant growth and enrich the soil, but it just makes for a mess and the high nitrogen content of their droppings can burn newly growing turf.

We had quite a long hard winter with weeks and weeks of snow cover. Our climate here the last decade has been so fickle we have gone straight through to February until we’ve seen a hard frost, or woken up to a blizzard on December 1st. It’s impossible to gauge what the season will bring. These last two winters there seems to be a consensus that these are the winters of our youth. As children we all remember the merry-go-round punches of snow and dealing with galoshes and mittens pinned to our sleeves, and how it was always cold.

There came a point when the snow finally succumbed to the temperatures and the grass on the sod farms became visible. The snow cover actually preserved the grass from winter’s worst damage –ice and wind the most destructive factors plants face. Snow can actually serve as a blanket of protection.

The snow melt revealed green lush grass. The deer and the geese endured a long hard stretch and they could give a hoot if there was a dog shaped silhouette planted in the middle of the field. By golly they were hungry! I counted nearly 45 deer grazing on one sod farm and on the other side, it was wall to wall geese.

The black silhouettes of dogs (or are they supposed to be wolves?) seemed to work for a very long time, and now that the animals have full bellies, it seemed the wooden sentinels are back on guard.

Every time I see them I think to myself, what if there was a God-shaped silhouette posted on the corner of the yellow light I’m considering slipping past, or at the office where I’m supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ and I wanna throw a good old fashioned tantrum on the floor. Or in the grocery store parking lot when I don’t really wanna return the cart to that cart-cage over yonder.

What if there was a God-shaped silhouette at every turn? Would we just ignore Him, drive right past doing our own thing?

Probably, because though we don’t see Him, God is always right here. This is abundantly clear and yet we continue to fume and fuss, fight  and cuss, and He is always right there with us!  Waiting for us to do the right thing.

We are so entangled with looking in the mirror, or minding what others are doing or not doing, justifying our behavior, mystifying our own selves with our colossal selfishness, and whining and complaining, we forget that God is always with us.

Good grief, He must be so exasperated with me at times. I know I am.

Make no mistake God is just, and God requires truth and repentance, He will see our hearts and love us, but we need to break free of encumbrances of this world and try to remember that He is with us always. Waiting for us to bow before Him. To do the right thing. Not the easy thing, or the snarky thing, but the right thing.

There is always someone in our lives that we would behave a certain way for. If the President, or the Pastor or the Principal visited, we’d sit up straight, be polite, gracious, mind our manners. Yet the Almighty Creator of the Universe who gave His son to die on the cross, for us, is always with us and we can’t find a way to make the promises of our prayers hold up for ten minutes.

We’d find a way to behave for Presidents, Pastors and Principals, then why not for the Lord?

Father,

Forgive me. I have had the most insanely worst three months in a long long time. But that is NO excuse for my pitiful wretched behavior.

I know you are with me, I know my every waking minute is yours, and all I do should bring you honor and glory. Please remind me how.

Amen.

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