Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The fact that I struggle proves I'm alive, proves God's Spirit is active within me. A teacher must first live out the lesson, integrate it into their lives, before they can passionately teach it. 
I read that yesterday morning from Ezekiel. 

Ironic, since I'm about to teach on what our response should be when plans are suddenly changed.

Esther, she had not planned on becoming a king's play thing or on becoming a queen, but without notice, her life was altered.  I think of how exasperated I get when only one day of mine is changed from the plan and wonder, how would I react if my entire life was disrupted?

I had planned on four hours to write, four hours of complete quiet and stillness, keyboard in hand. 
Instead, I was told classes for my child were canceled, requiring several commutes I had not planned on.  At first I was angry.   I'm supposed to be teaching this material this weekend.  This was my time slot to get it done.  When would I get another chance to write it all out?  This interruption was not welcome.

I tried to write by hand in the car without my computer.  But my brain was way ahead of my hands.  Furthermore, every place I parked my car there were distractions.  This was craziness and the writing was not happening.  Finally, I gave up. 

It was a beautiful day and so I went for a nostalgic walk on a frontage road towards the desert, close to where I used to live.  Hiking in the wilderness alone was never my plan for the day.  I explored a little, took a different route, and came across the ridge where the cottonwoods were displaying their glorious splendor of fall colors.  And the pieces began to fall together. 

I'd been studying how following Christ requires taking up the cross of suffering.  So much is included in bearing the cross . . . accepting our circumstances when they don't turn out as planned, staying in the place of difficulty rather than running from it, faith to move forward in spite of hardship even when I cannot see the end result, being vulnerable. 

As I climbed hills in the desert, without water, and in the heat, I was reminded of Jesus who spent 40 days in a desert. Then I was reminded of Golgotha, that place of suffering where He carried a cross and my sorrows up a hill.  If He bore a cross and I am His follower, should I not also bear my cross?  The hill I hiked down was called Easter Hill

I've had a headache for three days now.  I have hunters arriving in town soon, relatives visiting.  I have a costume to make before next week, a cardboard car to locate for my child, parent teacher conferences, and a house to clean.  Wood to gather and haul before the snow flies, laundry to complete, a son suddenly home from college, and I receive this change of plans to my day?  Have you ever felt overwhelmed with all the urgent things that need doing?  Nothing can wait.  It must all be now. 

Around 2:30 this morning God reminded me of what I'd read in Ezekiel the morning before, that a teacher must first integrate the lesson into their own lives before being effective in their delivery of the lesson.  God was asking me to be flexible with my plans, to bear suffering, to move forward in faith without knowing how the work would be accomplished on time. 

I got up and poured out my frustrations to God.  Then I sat down and wrote through the wee hours of the morning.  Fingers flew over the keyboard, thoughts flowed freely, and by six when the rest of the family was getting up, it was finished and we were off to cut firewood.  God's ways are not our ways.  His way is that His Word become mine, that it be applied to my real life. . . not simply another lesson to be taught.  What is the good in that if it is not my own? 

When our plans get altered I hope we are paying attention, because more than likely it is God's specific direction for our lives and that gets me excited.  The fact that I struggle proves I'm alive and that God is working in my life.  Yes, I like that! 


  1. beautifully written Jewel. couldn't agree more. the art of flexibility really goes hand in hand with the art of trusting that all will work out in the end.

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post!