“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)
Have you ever spent a day in nature and come forth with a renewed sense of God’s glory? I have. Many times I have walked down our lane and have marveled at the beauty of the sun-splashed hills, covered with our magnificent firs, all backed by a brilliant blue sky. I often think, “Who could fail to see the stamp of a Creator’s hand? Who could ever believe that all this happened by chance?” And yet, even I as meditate, my self-proclaimed atheist neighbors pass by. They see the beauty too, but what a different perspective! How differently we view the same evening scene!
Often, on the weekend, when I’m at the coast to get respite from the allergies of the pollen-laden Willamette valley, I sit watching the waves, and again, I’m awed at God’s hand. So big, so powerful, so much in control, and yet, for what does He use all this power? God is perfect, His creation reflects His incredible perfection and detail in the most minute areas of His earth. As a monarch or dictator, He would rule perfectly—we’d each be given the blessing that marks the beauty of nature unblemished. But He let us go, gave us our free choice, and allowed us—we who are so imperfect—to choose. God has absolute control—He governs the heavens, and they glorify Him, He manages the whole earth, and it magnifies Him, but with us—there He tied His hands, He did, and gave us our choice. Did you ever think that without humans, this whole earth and heavens would be in complete harmony with God? But rather than force us into His blessings, He gave us our choice.
This thought has come home a bit recently to me. A child I mothered for five years has left in rebellion a few months ago. As I go through my days, I am constantly reminded of the unfinished goals we had set in the future—blessings she missed. The larger garden space granted her this year, the unfinished scrapbook, books we hadn’t read, the cherry pie I promised I’d teach her to make, blessings and memories that never came to pass. Why? It isn’t because I’m not here, ready and willing to do it. She left. She walked away. Choices she made alienated her from the blessings of home, a loving “mother” figure and family. I’ve seen her since that time and there is a haunted look in her eyes. Far from the sparkling, bouncy, always joyful child I knew, she is somber, a bit wistful and fiercely independent, walls built high to protect the hurting inside—the hurt she chose. How full of trouble is her life! How destitute of any blessing or happiness! Yet, it is the life of her choice. It is the life many people choose. It is not mine.
By God’s grace, dear sisters, I want to choose God’s ways. I want to go the blessing route. God’s blessing means everything to me. Recently I went to a home that we had a thought of buying for school grounds. Although the place was lovely and ideal in many respects, God’s blessings were not there. I felt a great heaviness. That weight did not leave until we had given up the ideal of purchasing the place. It was not God’s choice. I did not have the blessing upon the consideration of that home.
For some time I have been praying about what God wants me to be doing with my life at this time. There are so many things to do. There is so much work available to do: teaching school, working with the elderly, working with children, simply being a full-time help at home, writing and publishing, music ministries, more schooling and education, preparing for a home of my own, the list goes on and on. Being the type of person I am, I always have a full plate, but the Lord has brought me to understand that is not always a virtuous trait. It is far better to be in the order of the Lord and work in the “blessing zone.” That knowledge has been slow in coming; I like to do everything. But I thank God that He has shown me that I can glorify Him only when I surrender myself as much as the heavens are yielded to God’s absolute control. I want my life to declare the glory of God. I want my life to “speak” of God’s creation. I want to be ruled by Him as the waves of the sea; flowing in the course they have since creation was set in motion, glorifying God, because I’m simply obeying.
This surrender is blessed. I find that as God streamlines my life, no matter how precious a work seems to me, if it’s out of the blessing zone He has for me, I must leave it behind, trusting Him to fill the lack. Through this process, it has become apparent that editing Dear Princess falls into this category. God has lifted His blessing in my editing of this section. I still have a burden to write, and will do so as God leads, but my season of being editor is over. Does this leave a gap? Yes. I trust God to fill this place. That is His job, not mine. I must stay in the blessing zone.
I remember when I started, a sunny spring day, six years ago. I didn’t know most of you; how much richer my life has been for your input! My convictions have been sharpened, tested, measured, made stronger by our discussions, your questions and comments. I appreciate all the things you all have shared, all the letters, articles, phone conversations, money offerings! I’m sure it isn’t possible to relate how often your offerings, articles, and letters were answers to prayer! Editing Dear Princess has often been an exercise in faith. Thank you so much to all who have prayed for us laboring in this way. Please continue to pray that God will bless and strengthen those who are still working with this, and that He will supply workers with a burden to publish. There is so much to do! If God wants you here, we’re waiting for you.
And I’d appreciate your prayers in what God has me doing now. I’m teaching school, and working with many unsaved and low-moral people in our area. It is a consuming work and I desire to do just the part God has for me. Please pray that the truth taught to these children and their parents will be effective, and that I will stay in the blessing zone of God’s perfect will.
I love you all.