DWELLING IN GREENER PASTURES
– by Mary Adele LaClair
The folks who say that the 20’s and 30’s are the ‘best times of our lives’, many times are deceiving us, not always, but often.
Those years can be the most unsettled, frustrating years. If we can just get through that period, life does promise to get better.
Every ten years, when my Dad hit a round number, starting at 40, he said that life keeps getting better. He said it at 40 years old, at 50, at 60, 70, at 80, and again at 90 years old.
At ninety-two, when asked, he said that he thought it had finally leveled off for him. At the ripe old age of 95 years he passed on, having said that getting THAT old wasn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.
During my own trying and frustrating thirties, I finally found a light at the end of the tunnel, I found the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He knew where I was all along; but it was I who had just discovered Him. I knew of Him from church, but then I knew only of the crucified Christ. Now I had found the risen Christ, the Christ Who is alive and well, and in the world today in the Spirit.
At a time when I was tired of the unsettling frustration that the thirties can bring, He came to me in a very real yet uncertain way.
He gave me a vision of a broad river; He, in green pastures on the one side, and me, in infertile rocky fields on the other side. He seemed to be looking wistfully at me, and I was puzzled – then in my vision He communicated to my spirit, and my spirit heard.
“I wish to bring you to this side where you see Me now, I wish you to live in these peaceful green pastures, but you must cross the river. Your feet won’t touch bottom and sometimes the waves may threaten to overwhelm you. I can bring you across, but you must trust me. My Feet reach bottom. Will you let me help you across? The water may reach your neck and maybe even reach as high as your mouth, but I will not let you go under. Will you trust me?”
“You won’t let me go under even if the water reaches my chin?”
“No, my child, it may even reach your mouth, but I will not let you go totally under; you will get wet and feel the force of the water but I will keep your head above water. I am tall and strong and My Feet do touch bottom, but I say to you there will be waves which will threaten you. If you remain calm in My care, we will reach the other side and you will be where I want you, in green pastures with my people.”
With my face out of the water, my legs and body were floating just under the surface. With my neck and head caressed in the crook of His arm, I floated through the water as He walked backward toward the other side, pulling me, much the same as a life guard would, as He walked backwards through deep rushing water over the rough bottom. He walked backward, so that if I looked up I could feel and see Him with His strong hold still on me. This was important to know when the water got rough, and sometimes I had to repeat over and over to myself, “He will not let me go totally under”, “He will not let me go totally under.”
I made it to the other side, because of my Lifeguard.
At another time, later in life, I was visiting a local man who was despondent and in the hospital when I realized I was having a vision of Jesus standing between the head of the man’s bed and the wall – appearing as a veil: He appeared as a cloud, a mist. His hands on the head of the bed, His eye ever on the man, watchful, caring, loving. Going out in the hall, I fall against the wall and breathlessly exclaim, “JESUS, YOU ARE WITH HIM!”
“Then why THIS?”
“Because, he doesn’t know that I am with him.”
Dear reader, do YOU know that Jesus is with you? He is EVERWHERE, wherever you are, whoever you are, He sees you, He knows what you are doing and where you are and what you are going through. Talk to Him as if He were there, because He is.
Since Jesus Christ is THE LORD to call upon the Name of Jesus is calling upon the Name of the Lord.
Have a little talk with Jesus.
“All who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13, & Acts 2:21
HE knows your thoughts, your words, your actions and your deeds anyway, so just start talking to Him. He waits for you to acknowledge Him and to initiate a conversation with Him.
What? You say how can God know where you are at all times, does He really keep track of you?
Does your GPS keep track of you and know where you are at all times?
How can God hear me, or you, when we call, with so many people on earth?
Does a smart phone hear you when you call…and even give answers to a myriad of questions instantly?
Look in any parking lot, your key fob does not open or start anyone else’s car.
Again in any parking lot or large crowd, see how many cell phones are in operation yet no signals get mixed up.
Can God do any less, we ask?
Oh, the despondent man in the hospital…. He found Jesus, (Jesus always knew where the he was) but the man found Jesus. He got a new job, re-married, became a Pastor and now holds a Master of Theology Degree.
After posting this, the story of Gideon came as a reminder. He did not know that the Lord was with Him; after finding that out, his actions changed. He became victorious.
It is the old testament parallel to today’s despondent man mentioned above, and they are witness to each other that God is still working today.
What could YOU do if you knew the Lord was with you….
…or what would you NOT do if you knew the Lord was with you?
Gideon’s story is found in chapter six of the book of Judges. You may find a brief quote of it in the next section right along with the other Scriptures mentioned above …
“Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
PS. Related Scriptures follow for your continued reading:
4 I sought the Lord , and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles. NKJV
7 The angel* of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. NKJV
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord ,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. NKJV
7 For He has delivered me out of every trouble, and my eye has looked [in triumph] on my enemies. AMP
40 I waited patiently for the Lord ;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord .
4 Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods!
5 Thou hast multiplied, O Lord my God,
thy wondrous deeds and thy thoughts toward us;
none can compare with thee!
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire;
but thou hast given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
thou hast not required.
7 Then I said, “Lo, I come;
in the roll of the book it is written of me;
8 I delight to do thy will, O my God;
thy law is within my heart.”
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
lo, I have not restrained my lips,
as thou knowest, O Lord .
10 I have not hid thy saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation;
I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness
from the great congregation.
11 Do not thou, O Lord , withhold
thy mercy from me,
let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness
ever preserve me!
12 For evils have encompassed me
my iniquities have overtaken me,
till I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord , to deliver me!
O Lord , make haste to help me!
14 Let them be put to shame and confusion altogether
who seek to snatch away my life;
let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who desire my hurt!
15 Let them be appalled because of their shame
who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”
16 But may all who seek thee
rejoice and be glad in thee;
may those who love thy salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord !”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy;
but the Lord takes thought for me.
Thou art my help and my deliverer;
do not tarry, O my God!
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. RSV_
23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
A Psalm of David. RSV
11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”e 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”f NIV
21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ RSV
GIDEON: Judges 6:11-16
11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “But Lord,”a Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” NIV
Will you ask the LORD to be with you today; and, will you trust Him…