A Pleasant Land

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The land you have given me is a pleasant land. - Psalm 16:6

I am constantly living in a state of re-structuring my expectations. I mostly have high expectations for myself, but I also tend to expect that my children, our budget, our life in general will respond if we put the work in and live on the right principles. It’s not a bad way to think, really, because wisdom and hard work and consistency are all such important factors to a life well lived. Yet some days, or weeks, or months, life throws me. The people I live with don’t respond to me in the manner I expect. The money we put aside has to go somewhere we didn’t foresee. Somebody gets sick (or maybe all the kids and I get sick at the same time, as it most seems to happen for mamas, am I right?). Or maybe we just aren’t where we expected to be by now.

When these moments come itching close to my surface, it’s so easy to feel unseen. It’s especially difficult to understand when we’ve tried our hardest, and things just turn out topsy-turvy. When I read this verse on its own, it’s easy to imagine David writing it when battles were won, when harvest time came around, when he was in good standing with God and man. But if you read the whole of Psalm 16, you can see that David is coming to the Lord for refuge right in verse 1. He reminds himself that the Lord is his true inheritance, the Lord is his blessing. And then he says those words — The land you have given me is a pleasant land. This isn’t true just because God gives good gifts. It’s true because a loving and good God is our greatest treasure, and having Him outweighs anything the world can throw at us. He is for our eternal good, and he cares about us intimately. If this is true, we can trust Him with our today. We can even call it pleasant. We can thank him for the boundaries and even the struggles, because we have this great hope in this great God and His ultimate unfailing involvement in our moments and our days.

 
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So I’ve been practicing teaching my heart as David did, not only in the victories, but also in the trials and in the mundane and in the not-so-lovely ordinary --

When both of my children are up too early, we are out of laundry detergent, and my well-made plans to actually fix my hair are all dashed, the land You have given me is a pleasant land.

When the car starts to smoke and the grocery budget gets tighter, the land You have given me is a pleasant land.

When I wish I could do more, be more, yet the time or the energy seem to slip through my fingers, the land You have given me is a pleasant land.

When my marriage is messier and my children need more attention that it seems like anyone else’s does, the land You have given me is a pleasant land.

The more I tell my heart, the more it feels true (because it is). He is good. The place He has given us, boundaries and blessings, have so much good - and they show us His goodness, too.

 
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