Hands and house

Hands and house

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sometimes Getting Stuck Is A Good Thing....

    It is finally feeling like Spring here!!!!! Wahooo, it has been one long and rainy season. I am always amazed at how much lighter my heart feels with a little bit of sunshine.

Like these jack-o-lantern smiles that I just cannot get enough of...

or Georgia snuggling in bed with me when she first wakes up whispering, "Mama ! I had a good sleep!"

The other day Doug got to help interview our good friends who are adopting from Ethiopia in front of our church. While they went to speak for the second service I took their kids and ours and drove around. So 5 kids age 7 and under can have some awesome wacky conversations. At one point, out of the blue Carter shouted, "I know all about catlle guards!" and proceeded to tell us all about them!

This brought up such a vivid image for me and God has used it over and over again for the last few days. I am not sure that I am totally done chewing it over but I wanted to share. You see I feel like we are in limbo/waiting on a number of things right now, Georgia's health stuff, Ravenna's blood stuff...we are moving to Hood River sometime next month but not sure when yet. Lots of little and not so little stuff. So when Carter brought up cattle guards it just made me smile.

You see, back in my 20's I worked at Young Life's Wilderness Ranch (in fact I just looked up their website and their promo video is still one that was taken from a trip I guided, how crazy is that? http://www.younglife.org/ResourceLibrary/Videos/YoungLifeCamping/WildernessRanchCampVideos.htm). It is a tiny backpacking camp. I got to guide groups of teenagers on week-long backpacking trips and teach them about Jesus. Some of those trips still burn so brightly in my memory.

The story that keeps circling in my mind is this: It actually was not a trip I guided but sure made an impact. Most of the trips that left from Wilderness Ranch went in busloads to trailheads...up above 10,000 feet for the week and then back down to be picked up at a different trailhead to be driven back to camp. One particular trip hiked right out of camp and then back in via the old dirt road into. This story takes place with a group using that trail. They hiked happily out and spent the week in the glory of the San Juan mountain sunshine talking about Jesus. One of the campers listened a lot but wasn't sure what to make of all of it. As the week came to a close they slowly hiked back down the dusty road to basecamp.

On that road there is one tricky but not very tricky spot...they had to cross one of these:

Yep, it's a cattleguard.

Before crossing one, we always told kids to be careful, to watching their step. Well, this one camper must not have heeded those rules and you guessed it, got their foot stuck right in the cattle guard! And they were stuck, completely stuck, beyond pulling out stuck. So...the rest of the group kept heading back to camp to get some help to free this poor fellow. But hiking a mile or so at the end of a long week when you are not really sure you want to go back to reality can take awhile...which gave this guy quite a bit of time to think. There he sat on the cattleguard on a dusty, lonesome road with nothing but time. I do not know all that went on during that time but I know he walked back into camp a different guy, having decided to give his life to  Jesus on that dusty old cattleguard.

So as I sit...straining against the waiting. I keep picturing that darned cattleguard. I can almost feel it, the sun on my shoulders, the smell of high Colorado air....and I find myself yearning for something else, that the Lord would change my heart, that He would leave no stone unturned in teaching me in this time, in this unknown, in this stuckness, all of Him in every single part of me.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the LORD’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

that will endure forever.”
Isaiah 55:8-13


Renee said...

OH, I really dislike that limbo place. I am feeling that way too so am heading for Is. 55 to embrace what it has to say. Your post brought alot to my mind today. Memories and reminders of God being with us and getting us through the tough times. The times of waiting and wondering. Lifting you up in prayer today.

Lisa said...

OH I've always wanted to go to Wilderness!!! I grew up in YL, my dad was a leader and I got to go since the age of five! :) Went to Castaway as a camper and a leader a few times, and on summer staff, I LOVE Young Life! None here though :( wish my kids could be a part!!!

Miller Moments said...

Love that picture of the kids! Eli is dying for a Jack O Lantern Smile. He has had two friends lose teeth in the past two weeks!

We are praying for all of those "limbo" situations. Is Ravenna going in this afternoon?

Susan A said...

Thank you for sharing about being stuck in waiting with us, Shannon, especially about the story of the cattle guard in the pretty Colorado hills and mountains pictures. I especially enjoyed your post.

Sometimes... being stuck in the cattle guard, we don't know if we're supposed to pray to get out of it, or to trust Him patiently while waiting in it. Perhaps both?? :) It's hard to say.

Loved the pic of Parker and Ravenna :)

Valerie and Jeff said...

Brayden is working super hard on losing his stubborn first front tooth--should be any day. LOVE the jack-o-lantern look! AND two of them none-the-less!
I hope your move to a new place is a happy thing! (was that this post or the last? Sorry, I read it last night and came back to comment today.) I do not do well with change/moving. It would stress me majorly UG! I'm going to chew on the "stuck places" theme ... that is so very true. The sun is finally out here again after 5 days of rain and SNOW! Yes, from wearing shorts last Sunday to wearing winter clothes this Sunday--Spring in Iowa.

Alice said...

OH i LOVED this story! Thanks so much for sharing. It really speaks to me... a lot of us I bet. AND your pictures are amazing... just lifts you up to see beautiful places like that.

Gretchen said...

Praying that God will make everything crystal clear for you very soon. Love you!


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