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School started this week for teachers and paraeducators such as myself. I reported for duty with very mixed feelings: gratitude for a good job, and sighs because the freedom of my summer vacation was over.

I am stretching inside my box,
My neat, safe, simple life box,
Because…
God is making me uncomfortable in it now. This my first day back – or forward, depending on how I take it. My soul is having to enlarge its sweet boundaries and come out where the unknown beckons.

Stretching feels good when you are cramped, but being stretched when you want to stay the way you are, is difficult.

Oh No – I say inside – I want to continue my summer schedule, my freedom of movement, no demands and no sharp edges. What if…what if I can’t define this new season at all?

Worse yet, what if I don’t recognize who I need to be for this new time?

Where am I headed? I can’t see from the confines of my sweet box.

The Shepherd, my Lord who seeks new fields for His sheep, is always going forward.

I think about how it feels like going from a backyard to Montana. I am not ready. But there is not a choice, because I won’t be left behind by my Shepherd, Jesus.

My soft, comfy vacation box is overturned now. I am following on to new pastures. I know I need to prick up my ears to hear new directions, and be aware of all m new surroundings.

This I know, He knows. I have trusted God before and I can trust Him now.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
(Isaiah 54:2–3 NKJV)

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