We are halfway through the first month of the new year. The chapter of year 2019 has closed and now resides in history. A new decade begins with the usual well wishes, new goals and resolutions, and the culmination of all things holiday. Dinner tables have been cleared, gift wrapping thrown away and decorations returned to storage. Our churches have pumped us with the usual anticipated ammunition to propel us forward into new beginnings. By now, excitement has dwindled, and we attempt to settle back into normalcy. A couple of months of over-stimulation upon every sense brings us to exhaustion, and quite frankly the body welcomes the quiet.
And here, tractor girl sits. In the second month of this winter solstice, filling calendars, setting dates, and organizing events, planning with limited vision, the intended order of things for 2020. The season brings such a fresh wind of ideas and possibilities, that it is often difficult to settle the being. The soul should rest, but new things tumble around in my head. Some make it to paper. Many literally overwhelm me. Believe it or not, it’s easy to get off-focus, to become overcome with all that The Vision speaks during this time of dormancy. Often it throws me off-kilter.
Back to the original question, now what? How do we handle this opportunity of newness, this fresh slate? How do we begin to manage resolutions and goals set for the new year? How do we continue after the excitement has gone?
I think I can offer a suggested answer to this dilemma, as I disclose portions of my walk with HIM in 2019.
Let me share.
The year of 2019, and quite honestly the entire decade, offered a plethora of paradoxes for tractor girl. I experienced extreme highs and extreme lows. I do understand that life is a balancing act. There will always be good days and bad days, rain or sunshine, ups and downs. But the ironic nature which these times have offered is the experience of extremities, at the same time. The funny bone sensation. Bitter sweet moments. Times when some of the greatest moments and some of the worst moments have occurred, at the same time. It is typical to expect good days and bad days to occur, independently of each other, though the human psyche still has to gingerly process the two oppositions. But greater is the challenge to deal with good moments and bad moments, simultaneously. The complexity of trying to channel emotions when one thing prayed about is being answered and the other thing is falling apart requires divine intervention. How does one handle moments of overflowing blessings and intense pain, at the same time?
I puzzled with it until my puzzler was broken.
I heard a phrase for the first time, The Garden of Gethsemane.
Heard it before? Yea, I had too. But, this day I heard something different.
When we hear the phrase “The Garden of Gethsemane” the mind instantly goes to Jesus’s intense suffering before HE was crucified. The time he spent in the garden praying for the cup to pass from Him, eventually succumbing and stating “nevertheless, not my will, but Thy will be done.”
But that morning in Sunday School when the teacher mentioned it, for the first time I actually meditated on the phrase “The Garden of Gethsemane.”
If we were to describe a garden we would use words such as vegetables, fruit, flowers, sustainability, fertile, recreation delightful, cultivation, ornaments. If we were to describe Gethsemane, the words that the dictionary lends us are oil-press, a place of suffering. And here I saw it for the first time. An implication that good and evil will happen at the same time, for an intended good.
We wrestle, because it is easier to experience one thing or the other. The mind can better understand when there are either good times or bad times. But complications spew when there are good times and bad times, at the same time. I think we all subliminally think that there should be either one or the other, times should be either good or bad, not both. We are even quick to assign scripture to the dilemma:
“Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter?” Such moments can set one in a whirlwind of twisted emotions.
As I continue my walk, YHWH and me, I began learning this past year of HIS sustainability. And here is where I think I received the answer of how to proceed to the next, as I reflect on how these moments of extremes were handled. I look back over those times, and even now, and realize that somehow, miraculously, HE sustained me. Not sure how, but amazingly I was able to remain sure-footed in moments of concurrent heat and cold.
Where is this place of sustainability? That place where no one sees you, where you’re hardly noticed. That place of not being recognized or acknowledged. That place of insignificance. That place where I have continually found solace and sustainability in 2019…at HIS Feet.
I posted this phrase on my vision board for 2019…”there is always but one thing.” Amazingly I posted it in the center. Not understanding any of these actions at the time, but understanding better now. The scriptures found in Luke 10:39,42 deal with Mary and how she seated herself at the Lord’s feet and there she found the most important thing. This same Mary found a sweet fragrance from God(HIS presence) when she anointed Jesus’s feet with perfume. This same Mary found comfort at HIS feet when her brother had died.
I have found myself dwelling here more, at HIS feet. A contraindication, in this age, where we are bombarded, even in the church, with the lifting of self. I continue to be in awe of what lies at HIS feet. As I write this blog, I’m preparing for a mission trip to Nicaragua. Emotions span the entire spectrum. The soul does not know how to feel, how to act, nor how to pray. But, at HIS feet I find it all. I find the manna needed for the moment. It is here that HE lifts me, that he sets my feet like hinds feet, that HE empowers me to do things greater than I can even think or imagine, that HE blesses me with HIS presence.
Literally at HIS feet? No, my friend. But to posture one’s self in humility and realize that we are capable of doing much, but only with the grace, power and strength that HE provides. Without HIM I am nothing, but with HIM, all things are possible.
HE sustains, at HIS feet.
HE comforts, at HIS feet.
HE heals, at HIS feet.
HE feeds, at HIS feet.
HE empowers, at HIS feet.
HE gives strength, at HIS feet.
HE gives direction, at HIS feet.
Luke 10:39 (AMPC)
39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.
Luke 10:42 (AMPC)
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.
John 12:3 (AMPC)
3 Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
John 11:32 (AMPC)
32 When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
Luke 8:42-48 (LASBNLT - Bible Text) As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. 44 Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47 When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
Matthew 9:20-22 (LASBNLT - Bible Text) 20 Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, 21 for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.