I’m sitting here trying to decide whether or not to take my dog Danny for his daily walk. He looks forward to his walk so much that I hate to disappoint him. It was misting, and I don’t mind walking in mist, but the mist is turning to a heavier–but not heavy–rain. I do not want to walk in heavy rain. I checked the weather radar and the rain will soon turn to snow. If it’s still early enough, I might take Danny when the rain turns to snow.
Yesterday our walk was interesting. Our route takes us past a house where several huge Great Dane dogs live. They are usually in the back yard when we pass on the other side of the street and they bark at us with deep roaring barks. I am not scared of them because I know that they are big sweeties. However, no matter how sweet a dog is, I know that there is always an element of risk when two strange dogs meet. They might be friends or they might take a dislike to each other and fight. Several years ago, Danny and I walked past a house, and a three-legged bulldog rushed out and attacked Danny. I know bulldogs have powerful jaws that hang on. I love animals and am usually gentle with them, but I was afraid the bulldog would kill my Danny, so I YELLED and kicked and kicked the bulldog until he finally let go. It was stupid of me to kick the dog because it could have easily turned on me, but all I could think was that it was going to kill Danny. My shoes had flecks of blood on them–I couldn’t tell if it was the bulldog’s or Danny’s. Fortunately Danny has very, very thick hair that is actually more like felt underneath, so I think the bulldog mostly got his hair. Danny was unharmed. I was shaky after the dog left, and called EJ to pick us up. EJ and JJ called me “Bulldog” for awhile after that and showed me respect. 🙂 We found out later that this bulldog had attacked another woman’s little schnauzer and almost killed it. So I am cautious when my dog encounters a strange dog.
Yesterday Danny and I walked past the Great Danes, and they were in the house, and they barked and scratched at the door until it shook. I thought, “Yikes! I hope they don’t get the door open…!” Then they DID get the door open, and a Great Dane the size of an elephant loped toward us, making the earth shake with each stride. It had a comical, friendly face, but who knows how he and Danny would interact? I froze. Yikes, yikes, yikes! It could eat Danny in one swallow and me in two! Fortunately, the Dane’s owner was in the yard, and she yelled at him, and he obeyed, and we did not get eaten.
Life is interesting.
Since I am not yet going for a walk–and I might not go at all–I am thinking that this might be a good time to get on the elliptical. I have to gather mental strength and determination for it because I didn’t get to sleep until about 2 a.m. and I am very tired.
I waited up for EJ to get home from work last night. He stopped at the store on the way home so he was home at midnight instead of 11:30 p.m. I poured out my heartache to him, which he has heard a million times and yet still listens patiently. Of all the people on the planet, he most understands my heart, my love for my family, and my ache over the estrangement and he comforts me when my heart throbs.
After talking to my friend and husband, I think the only thing I can do is (again) turn hand the whole mess over to God. I can’t fix the brokenness. He knows my heart and He knows their hearts. My friend and Eric say separation is necessary. Give the mess to God. Trust Him to work as He chooses. Live another day with Him. Focus on all that God has taught me through the struggles and difficulties of life. Thank Him for the work He continues to do it me.
I like what friends wrote this morning in a Facebook study group we started. One friend wrote:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed (anchored) on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.
I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed yesterday, and the “feeling” still lingered this morning. I was looking at scripture for the remedy and Isaiah 26:3 came to mind. A commentary I read mentioned “If I’m feeling overwhelmed, then I’ve let my heart and mind drift from God. I’ve fastened my attention on my problems rather than my Lord. . . Start praising God for His faithfulness and his loving kindness for us. If we divert our focus away from our problems and onto Him, the Lord Himself will reward our faith and give us His perfect peace. . . Give up your “right” to be angry about your circumstances. Approach the Lord as a hurting child seeking a comforting parent. And the God of peace will make His love real for you.” This is so true, yet so easily forgotten. Life is so full of distractions – but He is faithful and will provide as we continue to trust in Him.
The writer also says “while His love is unconditional, His blessings are usually conditional — they require some small effort on our part to qualify for something too wonderful for us to ever achieve own our own.” In the Isaiah scripture the blessing is perfect peace. In the Hebrew, it’s “shalom shalom” — the normal word for peace repeated for emphasis, to show that this is something quite special.
By the way, “Shalom” in Hebrew means “peace, completeness, wholeness, wellness.” Another friend responded:
Too often when I try to have this mental tug of war – I loose. With that mental tug of war in thought I wanted to look deeper into this verse – this is what I found – no conclusions – just some thoughts.
Interesting to me that the Hebrew word ‘mind’ is translated from yetser. If I’m understanding correctly this is the only place in the Word that this word is translated as mind though a few other places it is translated as imagination. But taking the Hebrew word itself gives one some interesting thoughts.
The noun yetser denotes form – the root “to form” or “to fashion”. It’s the word used in Isaiah 29:16 when God talks about Himself as the potter and us as the clay.
“Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”
Framed is the noun yetser. So yetser is referring to the pottery itself. So now I’m thinking about all this and perfect peace with the picture of the Potter (God) and lump of clay (us). So moving on to the Hebrew word anchored.
The Hebrew word is samach (excuse any crazy spelling of Hebrew) Strong’s 5564 but I love to use TWOT [Theological Workbook of the Old Testament] so I’m pulling my understanding from there. The primary meaning is “to lean upon.” So in the context of a Potter and the pottery – clay – perfect peace is when myself as a lump of clay leans on the potter who forms me. Not so much as a mind game of pulling my focus (a mental tug of war) but of leaning on the Potter rather than self. Still thinking this through ❤
This makes me think of 2 Cor 10:5 – We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ- and I have to admit a interesting paraphrase of this verse comes from The Message: “fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ”
This was timely because I have needed to remember again to lean on my Potter who fashions me. My faith is in Him, and my heart is filled with thankfulness and joy once again.
I am so blessed to have friends like these, who love to study and encourage.
Shalom Shalom to you.