Fields of Green

Whenever I take a trip to Mexico City, for a few weeks prior to my departure all sorts of shapes and sizes of packages arrive at my door. Usually I’m like, “Ooh, what did I order?” with a a tad bit of excitement before I realize it’s actually something else Naomi ordered for me to bring to her. But she has given me permission to open the boxes so I still get that moment of ooohing and aaahing, even if it’s just a bottle of Green Pasture cinnamon flavored gel paste cod liver oil something or other. Or toothpaste.

Apparently cod liver oil is really good for you, and while I was there a few weeks ago, I rooted and cheered for sweet Selma as she tried to swallow the huge cod liver oil capsule, lovingly encouraged by her mom to “chase it down with water,” and by me to “bend your head forward and let it float to the top.” Whatever kind of nonsense we told her didn’t ever work, it was just pure willpower that got Selma to send that thing down her throat. And then her mama would give her a chocolate. As she should.

So I’m about to order some Green Pasture cod liver oil for my bunch of kids. They have no idea what’s coming. But all this to say, the idea of Green Pastures has been on my mind so much this week, as I’ve been meditating on Psalm 23, and it’s been so encouraging. I’ve also been listening to Jon Foreman’s House of God Forever over and over again in the car, so much so that Landis is talking about shepherd’s staffs and what does comfort mean and the like.

It’s not green around here yet, but little bits of green are starting to break through the dry brown frozen earth. And there’s hope. And when I start to think about how the Lord will make me lie down in fields of green I wonder what that means…I don’t live on a pasture and we don’t really lie down in fields of green, but the imagery I think is supposed to induce a sense of peace and comfort and rest. So I’ve been thinking, “What does my field of green look like?”

I think it looks like Jesus, the glimpses of Jesus I see in the everyday, glimpses of His goodness that should point my heart upward to Him… the sweet prayer offered up by my daughter that she would be more humble, and by my other daughter that she would have a teachable spirit, totally unprompted by me; the picture of a momma snuggling her adopted son, his arm wrapped lovingly around her body; the smell of my bedroom when I need a private moment alone; the sound of my children playing, loud and noisy, but alive; the dark living room and the smell of coffee as I open the Word before the rest of the world wakes up; my boy asking me one morning why I wasn’t reading my Bible when he woke up, feeling thankful he notices; the moments when fear wells up inside and the still quiet voice settles my heart; the beauty of the red tailed hawk which nests in the tree across the street, swooping and collecting, preparing, year after year, by instinct and God’s design; the strong embrace of a faithful husband; the loud song of a nearby Mockingbird; the budding cherry blossoms that confirm God’s cycles of nature from the beginning of time; the reassuring knowledge of His presence in my doubt and longing, eternity is the gift we wait for; the sweet kindredness of dear friends, amazed that I’m loved by people, a very present sign of green pastures.

When the winters are long and green seems forever from coming, it’s so good for me to think about fields of green as being any and all of the things God brings my way, and looking for His hand in our lives even to the tiniest detail, even in barren branches and patches of brown, symbols of messy lives and hurting hearts, but hope soon to break through.

*for musings on similar things, check out Naomi’s blog, as we are in the second week of our between friends series, and to catch up on last week’s post click here.

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