It’s a beautiful fall day. The windows and doors are open and the twins are outside playing. It’s been like this for a week. I’ve needed this, sunshine without the sweltering heat of a Texas summer. Fresh air with a hint of cooler weather to come; it’s still not cold enough to keep the mosquitos and flies away, so we’re not to my weather nirvana, but we’re close. And close is good.
Close means soon the garden will be tilled and the dirt allowed to rest till spring. It means the yard won’t need mowing every week. The weeds won’t need pulling. The outside work will be set aside for another season, and I can rest from that work. That’s not to say more won’t start. The holidays are close at hand so projects inside need to be started and completed in the next few months. List made and items checked off. But it’s different from what I’ve been doing and that makes it exciting.
It’s in the everyday activities that I find rest. And though resting while I work doesn’t seem possible, for me and many others it is. Doing the same thing every day makes a good life seem dull. Change, even subtle, can help transform a mindset that has grown bored with life. It still requires the person to see the beauty in the everyday, but it is possible.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens
Recently the husband made a decision that will affect the whole family. It didn’t come to him easily, changing churches never should. But after years of watching our church family go, we can’t sit back any longer. We feel disconnect from God and like the dry bones described in Ezekiel, we have been bleached from the sun, lying brittle in the valley. Our cries to God are now faint whispers and though our faith is still strong, our hope for change is not.
Ezekiel 37: 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
The problem is we’ve never left a church. We’ve moved away from ones we’ve loved. But never have we left because our church left us feeling empty each week. And though we know the church shouldn’t be what fills us, that only God can do that, we shouldn’t leave feeling emptier. In the past our preachers guided us with sound doctrine and excitement for the Word. Our church family would love us through our hard times and celebrate with us through our victories.
We’ve not felt that here for years. As hard as we’ve tried to find our place in the ruins, we can’t. Nothing about our church is steady. The people, the programs, even the times keep changing. Though some change is good, watching people pass through the church like the seasons is not. We’re exhausted and resentful; it’s no longer a place of learning and renewal so it’s time to drag our dry bones to another well.
Ezekiel 37: 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
I embrace change. I enjoy the newness that comes with each one. Whether it’s the seasons or a new city, I like the starting over. What I don’t like is the barrenness that I’ve been feeling; the wanting to cry out to God, but choking on dust. My soul feels empty like there’s nothing left for me to give. And I know… I know that the enemy is using this time to pull me away. But he can’t have me.
This season has no doubt been a test of my faith and though I failed many and stumbled through a few others, I still know there is a sovereign God who looks after me. He cares for me and who sees my need. Perhaps these past few years I needed to see what the void felt like. The disconnect that others feel but I couldn’t understand. Maybe, like so many other things in my past God is allowing me a chance to relate to someone in my future who may feel the same way I did… still do. I pray I don't miss the opportunity.
Corinthians 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.