Green Pasture

After 35 years in the same house and 36 years in the same town, we are preparing to move to another city. It’s a time of simplifying, downsizing, and saying goodbye to hobbies and activities we no longer have time or energy for. For someone who has been addicted to potential for so long, letting go of unfinished projects feels like a loss.

There is the furniture I meant to refinish. Over there the bins of fabric I meant to turn into something useful take up more space than I will have in the new apartment. I have canvasses and frames I bought from an estate sale still sitting in the basement. And books! Books I meant to re-read, books I meant to loan to someone who doesn’t realize they need to read it, books with useful information I meant to write about, books that my mother gave me from her childhood when she was learning English. I no longer have room in my life for all this stuff.

Grieving is involved. So is gratefulness.

The piles of stuff to sell, give away, and trash are evidence that God has provided well for us. We have more than we need. I am learning to trust in Him for the future instead of my boxes of “potential.”

I keep coming back to Psalm 23. I love Rutter’s setting. The Lord is my shepherd, therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture…

One day, when I was a very young child who refused to eat her peas, my frustrated young father said, “I can’t even afford to feed you!” As an adult I understand now that his angry tone had much more to do with a sale that fell through than my burdensome existence, but it became a defining moment in my life. I never wanted to cost anybody anything. I learned to make do, to recycle before recycling was trendy, to pinch a penny so hard you could hear it scream for mercy. Worrying about swings in the market became the habit of the child of a man whose income depended upon sales commission. Resting in the Lord, financially speaking, has been a challenge.

This week I discovered, among the boxes full of paintings that I stashed away, a little 8 x 10 canvas with my first attempt in oil. It’s labeled simply “Green Pasture.” There was something about its simplicity on a stack of too much stuff that caught my attention.

God is letting me rest in a green, growing, nourishing place. He provides, because goodness is his nature. He is the good shepherd, therefore I lack nothing. I am not a burden to him. He is not on a budget or worried about the economy. He says “Trust me. I’ve got this.”

Sometimes you need to let go of your grip on the past before your hands are free to reach for the future.

Rutter: The Lord Is My Shepherd – YouTube

9 thoughts on “Green Pasture

  1. Linda

    Good word right there my friend…..can so relate in so many ways.And YES HE does provide simply because He is good…it is His very nature and He loves us so…Thanks for sharing this…it blessed me and I smiled….:)

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  2. Love your first painting as it is so peaceful, Charis. It is painful to let go of the past and all our stuff. However, you are making room for all the new that he will bring to you in the new season. You are getting ready to receive wonderful things that will bring you joy and not sorrow. 🥰💕

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  3. Toyosi

    Your posts have always been an encouragement to me. I can only imagine emotions you are processing now with your imminent departure from your home (and the familiar environment) of 35 years. I pray Psalm 139:5 over you. God has gone ahead into your future to prepare the way for you. In His kindness, He is also behind you to shield you from the harm of your past. His hand is on you. God bless you.

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  4. You are an encourager of strong spiritual character Charis. I have been quite unwell for some months and consequently not able to write my blog. Thankyou for being one of those that is so very much worth reading and nourishing. Much love from Australia.

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