TALK ABOUT SUFFERING HERE BELOW …

By Lisa Huddleston

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

Relationships can be hard. Truth.

And it can be especially hard when a relationship has trouble, and you find yourself with the inability to do anything about what’s causing the difficulty. At a time like this, I am thankful to have a Heavenly Father who knows my heart, sees my tears, and responds to my hurt with encouragement and good promises on which I can rest my weary head.

As you know, Chuck and I live on a fifth-generation family farm in Middle Tennessee with our mothers, cattle, cats, dogs, goats, ducks, and chickens. Besides our moms, other human family is often here as well, and we all benefit from the lessons that surround us in this nurturing place.

In the past few weeks, we have introduced 2 new goats and 4 new chickens to the menagerie. And although you often hear that “birds of a feather flock together,” it can take time for peace to be restored when newbies arrive. The lil’ girls are still running to hide from the mean old biddies who are used to ruling the roost, and the lil’ fellas in the goat field are taking a lot of pushing around from the bossy older guy they are now living with. Relationships can be rough.

Naturally, Chuck and I do our best to smooth the ruffled feathers when we are there, but the truth is that all we and the newbies can do is give it time and let the pecking order fall into place. As we know from bringing in others in the past, cats and dogs will find their own ways, and the same is true for new chickens and new goats. Time will do its good work. We can only wait.

I don’t know about you, but I find waiting to be one of the hardest things to do (or NOT do). I want to fix relationships that are broken. I holler at Blaise when he head butts the boys, and I run to rescue the lil’ girls when I hear squawking and see feathers fly. Do Blaise and the big girls care what I do? Heck no!

And the same is sometimes true for humans. When I see difficulties for others or especially when I feel that I am on the business side of a head butt, it is nearly impossible for me to sit down and wait for God to do his work. But He is reminding me that He is on the job, and I can trust Him even with the most heartrending relationship struggles. He will work all things together for good. He does hear my cries and see my tears. He will restore,  confirm, strengthen, and establish me. I have not been forgotten nor do I need to defend myself. At the proper time, He will exalt me from this humbling, and I can safely and confidently cast my cares on Him.

Thank you, Father, for squawking hens, for pushy goats, for words that salve a broken heart, and for your never-ending faithfulness.

So shall it be. Amen.

THE WATCHMEN’S CALL

Lovie Dove--my new alarm clock!

Lovie Dove–my new alarm clock!

By Lisa Huddleston

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning (Psalm 57:5-6).

Some times are waiting times. Nothing very important is going on. There are no deadlines or goals to work toward. There is little more to do than the mundane tasks of day-to-day life. But these words from Psalm 57 remind me of the importance of waiting times … well, these words and a couple of very loud roosters who are living outside my bedroom windows.

I grew up without much rooster experience. Apart from one encounter with a very angry cockerel who chased me and my little sister on a frightening race from the chicken yard to the safety of my uncle’s house, I have had no interaction with chickens or roosters at all until now.

But all that has changed. As I’ve written about in earlier posts, we bought 12 chicks this spring, and we’ve been watching them grow and learning as we go. One thing we have discovered is that at least three of our sweet spring chicks are developing into roosters.

While most people know that roosters crow, the thing that I didn’t know is that roosters don’t just crow when the sun rises–they crow before the sun rises. It’s as if they sense the sun’s immanence and announce it’s coming. My husband laughingly says that they may even think they are responsible for the sun’s daily arrival. Cock-a-doodle-doo! The sun is coming! Come on, sun!

And that is how this waiting time–all waiting times–should be spent. Hopefully! In excited anticipation! Crowing and singing out that the sun is coming. Even when there are clouds, the sun is coming. Even when the rain falls, the sun IS coming. Even when the sky is as black as night, THE SUN IS COMING.

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

BREATHING SPACE

Waiting_for_the_PresidentBy Lisa Huddleston

My mind is a pinball this morning–not just in its puny size but in its bouncy inability to settle in one place. So many thoughts, so many concerns, so many needs. Oh God, I turn to you.

“God, the one and only–I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s the solid rock under my feet [under all our feet] and breathing room for my soul” (Psalm 62).

David writes these words when attacks are coming from every side, and I understand how he feels. I’ll wait as long as God says, because I have no choice. I can’t force resolutions–not for the one whose father is dying, not for the one whose job hangs in the balance, not for the one hiding from shame, not for the one waiting to hear about medical concerns. I’ll wait, we’ll all wait, because we have no choice.

But God is good for it. He alone can take us through the waiting times. He alone gives us breathing room for our souls. Deep breathing not short pants.

“Strength comes straight from God.”

I love you, Lord God. You make all things right.