I was lying in bed this morning feeling frustrated. I have been concentrating this year on getting back into shape. I needed to do this. My knees were starting to bother me. I didn’t feel well a lot of the time. My pant size was ever increasing. So, I’ve been walking A LOT and running a little. I’ve dropped more than 20 pounds and I feel like a new person. I’m learning however, that this is not something that you do and then have behind you. This is a life style that will have to continue. My frustration stems from losing a lot of the time I used to have in the Scriptures. Teaching–the prep, the grading, the paperwork, the reading, the recording–takes a vast amount of time. We also have to eat. We must have clean clothes to wear and a relatively clean house in which to live. Add in church and family (This area of my life has also been suffering lately.) and there’s just not much extra time to play with. I HAVE been praying more. Walking is conducive to prayer and worship, so that’s good, but I miss going deep.
I got up and prepared to walk the dogs. The outside view was not very encouraging. We had a sleet/snow/ice storm yesterday and our neighborhood is covered in about 4 inches of white mess. Some of our neighbors tried to get out yesterday when it all turned to mush, but then it froze solid over night. Now the tire tracks are streaks of black ice and the ruts are very difficult to negotiate.
I really struggled with Jesse the greyhound. He goes slowly, but it was very difficult to find a foot hold. We moved carefully up the hill. I didn’t even see the tree that is down until we were right on top of it. Even with all the workouts, I was huffing and puffing when we got to the top of our street. He did what he needed to do and we headed home, baby stepping all the way. Margie the basset is a different story. She is full-speed ahead no matter what. Her huge basset paws are like snow shoes and she just goes. Even she has a little trouble on the black ice, but I knew a little better where to lead this time and we got to the top of the hill a little easier. Of course, being Margie, she chose to do ALL of her business under the dripping holly trees, leaving a sort of Hansel and Gretle style trail for me to pick up. She was VERY excited to get outside and smell some SMELLS! Anyway, I picked my way along, trying to keep my footing, always looking for a better way. Then I noticed the snow diamonds, the beautiful glittering dazzle all around my feet. Margie was standing still, inspecting an area under a bush when I finally allowed my eyes to move away from my feet. What I saw took my breath away. I was standing on a solid white island–the middle of our traffic round-about. The holly trees were dark green, still with a little white “icing,” agains a perfect Carolina Blue sky. (Fellow Carolina fans will understand why this is so important on a day like this one.)
I breathed in. The air is March air, not January or February air. This air is tinged with the hope of spring. I stood there for just bit and took it all in. Amazing.
As I stepped carefully from ridge to ridge on the way home, I thought about how important it is to look up, to get my eyes off the problems of life, to contemplate the bigger picture–God’s perfect will and plan. These last few weeks have been difficult–lots of hard stuff for many people that I love and care about. I’ve been picking my steps and struggling along.
I came inside and looked up Psalm 121. As I read, I marveled and I thrilled. While I made my ascent of the hill this morning, God was preparing a lesson for me. He knows what I need. He knows that I desire Him, that I wish I could spend more time in His Word. He reveals Himself and His ways to me all the time. This morning he provided our own little personal Bible Study out in the snow; He kept my foot from slipping and He directed me to look up! I will trust and keep on going.
A Song of Ascents.
121 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.