Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Early Morning Wisdom ~ Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

The Porcupine Mountains are unbelievably remote. Our campsite is at the Northeast tip of this huge state park; the mountains and thousands upon thousands of trees are in the middle; and Ironwood, the only big “town” in this part of the U.P., is near the Southwest end of the park, probably 30 miles “as the crow flies.” Click here if you’d like to see a map of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Porkies_Unit

Lake Superior covers all the North side of the park, and as I wrote in my Day 2 post, forests and small townships or four-corner villages border the south side of the park.  (Click here for a short video “Under the Radar – Porcupine Mountains”  to see the magnificence of this State Park – the largest in Michigan.) So in this park, I have no Internet connection. In fact, I rarely have cell service. Now, it’s easy to say, “So what? You don’t need Internet during this time,” but it’s quite another thing to actually be the person without it! That’s me. So without connection, I haven’t been able to work on my website or “post” my blogs as I had planned. Each day, Ron and I have gone to the “Welcome Center” here in the park, and I have lugged my laptop, connected to their WiFi, and worked on various writing projects for a while. We were headed there this morning when . . .

I’ll come back to this, but first I’ll touch upon the “Seeking . . . wisdom” part of the title of my writing series during this getaway.

Have you ever asked God for wisdom?  I know the Bible tells us to do so. And I’ve asked Him for it many times – generally regarding a specific issue, i.e. “God, grant me wisdom to know what decision to make . . .” We read that He liberally gives us wisdom when we ask. When I “titled” my series of pieces I’m writing during this getaway, I included “Seeking . . . wisdom.”

Anyway, that’s how I expected it during this getaway. I expected to gain wisdom from His Word. But this morning, the wisdom He gave was simply spoken directly to me – oh, not in a voice, as such, but . . . well, here’s how it happened:

We regularly discuss plans for our days here at the park. Ron always checks the weather forecast, so we know which day would be best to hike, which day would be best to drive to waterfalls and other points of interest in the park. You get the idea. Well, each day has also included a bit of time at a place near the entrance of the park where I can “connect” to the Internet and get good cell connection, as well.

Suddenly this morning, with maps on the table and the weather forecast in front of Ron, God spoke to me, you know, like I just mentioned above. It was like He was saying,

 “You should not be using this time to get ‘connected’ to the Internet. You should be using this time to get ‘connected’ to Me. And to get ‘connected’ to Ron. You’ll have plenty of Internet ‘connection’ time when you get home. Don’t use your getaway time, struggling for connection to anything else.”

I responded,

“Thank you, Father, for wisdom.”

You can ask God for wisdom, too. The Bible tells us He’s so very generous in extending wisdom to us. Wisdom speaks to us, gives us knowledge and understanding, blesses us, and so much more. It’s exciting to think of how He will give it to you. We know you’ll always find it in His Word!

Further reading: James 1:5; 

Proverbs Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4

You’ve just read Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

If you have not yet read Post 1, Post 2, or Post 3 from this series, you might want to click on each post to read them in sequence.

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If you’re a subscriber, look for Post 5 – “Mid-Morning Favor from God” tomorrow. Otherwise, find it on this site! Bless!

I think my plans are the best!? Post 3 in the series, “The Getaway: Seeking . . .”

Ron and I have a passion for waterfalls, so today we made plans to see five waterfalls in surrounding areas outside this huge park as we drove to Ironwood on the Wisconsin border. Five waterfalls.

We saw one

It was just a mile out of the campground, the remaining four to be seen further on. This one was striking.

Now I know why the rocks are red here. It’s the iron. The water flows over red rocks. Iron ore was pulled out of these mountains for years. I suppose iron will always be detected on these shores.

So we were off to a good start. On to the next waterfall.

And we drove and drove and drove, seemingly following the directions in the brochure, “Western Upper Peninsula Waterfall Guide.”

“Turn left on USSF222, which turns into 400.”

So we did. We turned left.

It was a beautiful drive down a gravel road through Ottawa National Forest. Miles and miles. But it didn’t lead to a waterfall – or even to a river. Perhaps if we’d gone further?

We did not find the waterfall on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River.

On toward Ironwood we drove, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, slowly but steadily progressing to the next two waterfalls on the Black River.

“North on Blackjack Road. Past the two gas line clearings. Park off the road.”

So we did. We passed the gas line clearings and parked in a low spot off the road.

No signs. Was it private property?

We did not find the upper and lower waterfalls on the Black River.

We drove on, stopping for lunch at a roadside park on the way. I placed a red-checkered tablecloth on the table , pulled lunch out of my vintage red picnic basket. It was a true picnic! As we ate, we enjoyed nature around us. A yellow butterfly drank nectar from an orange flower. We sat in the warm sunlight, at a picnic table, on the side of a small mountain, in a desolate area. Like the butterfly, we were drinking nectar – the nectar of the moment. We listened to the sounds of nature and ever so slowly started to unwind and leave behind some of the burdens we had carried with us to the north. Afterward, we drove on toward the waterfall on Planter Creek, but we never located . . .

“Wertanen Road on M-28 north after County 519,” so . . .

We did not find the waterfall on Planter Creek.

So we arrived back at campsite earlier than expected, and I stretched out on my new gravity chair, one I’d had for several weeks but had never taken the time to relax in. Now, in the warm, late afternoon sun on what had begun as a cool day, I was extremely tired. Soft waves lapped the red rocks. My body rested. Then my mind rested. It was the Sound of Silence I was seeking when I came to the north. It brought rest. Physical rest often precedes spiritual rest, the kind I’m seeking by dwelling in His Secret Place. I had made a day’s worth of plans of discovering and enjoying a number of waterfalls. My plans didn’t work out. It was certainly not the first time, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last!

As I rested, reclined in a most comfortable gravity chair, in a most tranquil setting, I listened to His Whisper.

Jesus whispers,

“Kathi, you are good at making plans. But I’m better. Listen and I will give you the right answers. Dwell in my shelter and your plans will be great.”

Are you good at making plans like I am but realizing that most importantly you need to be listening to Jesus Whispers?

Further Reading: Proverbs 16:1,3; Psalm 91:1

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You have just read Post 3 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

(If you have not yet read Post 1 and Post 2 from this series, click on each.)

Look for Post 4: “Early Morning Wisdom” Click here to read, if it has already been published.

 

I Own This Property on the Great Lake (Post 2 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

After an extremely anxious, sleepless night along the road near Escanaba, our northern trek continues.

Upper Peninsula white birch differ from those in the southern. The white is whiter. The blackened edges are blacker, and the trunks, although similarly straight, are heavy, bulky, bigger, as though they’ve withstood colder temps, stronger gales, and lengthier winters.

In this western corner – the stretch between the two “Greats,” Michigan and Superior, rests the remnants of a thousand emptied motels, a hundred abandoned trailer homes, and a dozen or more ghost farms, their barns dropped to the ground, their fences derailed. Bumpkin towns dot the way from one county seat to another. An occasional manicured lawn surrounds an attractive log or ranch home, reminding the traveler that some people choose this remote life, willing to trek a hefty distance to the “city” for necessities. Inwardly, I am a bit envious of their distanced life, wondering if they find a greater solitude and communion with God than I.

Finally the end is in sight, the end being the big lake, deeper than any of the five, and proven more dangerous and deadly. But today, it feigns innocence. It is calm and blue, enticing us to settle on its southern shore. We are drawn to its frigid waters, unlike the waters we know this time of year at the very opposite point of this beautiful state.

We have been placed on Site 22, between a small rise to the south and the lake itself to the north. Ron angles our little trailer east to west, causing our door and our largest window to open directly to the water.

It is the perfect view, and I am drawn to the water, so I step across flat-layered, red slate rock and reach to touch it, ignoring and forgetting for now the couple setting up their tent on the nearby site and the man across the way placing his American flag upon his teardrop trailer. Nothing else matters. At this moment, the site, the wild blackberry, the hard maple, which has pushed its way through the red rock, and the Lake itself are mine. I am the sole owner of this property on the Great Lake. And the joy of ownership fills my lungs as I breathe purified air thrust over miles and miles of cold, deep water. 

Our Father owns it all. I am His heir. Are you? He has asked you to be. Click here to learn more at https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

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Further Reading: Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 3:6

You don’t need to “tiptoe” around the word “righteous.”

Righteous.

The world doesn’t know the meaning of it. The believer should.

Before we became believers, many of us thought, as the world does, that the gift of salvation was too good to be true – we had to work for it – we had to become righteous by ourselves. So we tried. Of course, we found it to be impossible. The world confuses the two words and their definitions: “righteousness” and “self-righteousness.” The devil pellets the believer with lies, time after time. We hear smug comments like, “You think you’re so righteous, don’t you?” intended to beat us down. And sometimes, they do. If we let them. The devil doesn’t want that word, righteous, in our hearts for even one minute. He hates God’s word. Thief that he is , he immediately comes to steal it from us (John 10:10).

We sometimes respond in what we believe to be a “Christian-like” defense, saying things like, “I’m only a sinner saved by grace.” It’s true, in a way. We were sinners. We were and are saved by grace. But perhaps because it seems too good to be true, because we did nothing to deserve it, we shy away from the truth that God sees us as “righteous” in Christ Jesus! (2 Cor. 5:21) God doesn’t see us as sinners any longer. He sees us as His. He sees us as the redeemed. He sees us as righteous.

I am righteous in God’s eyes. I need to remind the devil of it by speaking it aloud:

“My sin was put upon Jesus! I am righteous in Christ Jesus!”

Oh, how the devil hates to hear the spoken Word of God! How he hates to hear the name of Jesus. He is forced to hide from it, and that’s just where I want him – hidden away from my heart – hidden where I cannot hear his lies.

And because I am righteous in God’s eyes, I want to thank God:

Thank you, Father, that You made Jesus who had no sin, to be sin for me, so that in Jesus, I was made righteous in Your eyes.

You, too, can be made righteous in God’s eyes. Click here to learn more

Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Who is Traveling? (Post 1 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

Post 1 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place, and Wisdom”

Today’s highway is paved, flat, barren, and ugly, but adequate and necessary, nonetheless, for our purpose of journey – pulling our little “home away from home,” headed north to our destination, yet 600 miles away. My driver, the man I’ve journeyed with nearly 50 years must scan the road, follow the lanes, obeying the signage and lineage. I choose to observe the landscape instead of the road.

Tall, straight birch and poplar border the edge of the thick, dense woods, filled with pines and hardwoods with wider foliage, but also tall and straight, and as the birch and poplar, all evidencing their struggle to reach the sky, all in search of sunshine. The forest floor beneath them is plush with seedlings and saplings. Green life is unending in these groves of the north. Neither wind nor fire has squelched the growth. We see indication of past attacks of those enemies, as they have tried, time after time to destroy, but they have never fully succeeded. And it’s all because of the new growth, found deep in the womb of the soil, rooting and rising – toward the sun.

The sun is the sustenance of the green life, its reason, its purpose.

Today, as we drive north, the sun is reflecting off the flora around us, revealing deeper and varying shades of emeralds and olives and limes, and sages. Up and down the hills of the fallow path we travel, the trees stretch upward. We sometimes view them at levels below their roots, sometimes above their tops, looking down at an unending pillow of forest jade.

Intermittenly, a sandy trail weaves through its thickness. I wonder who, if anyone, has traveled that trail today, and if so, where was he going? And why?

I travel to reach a quiet spot where I hope to avoid daily routines and distractions. I seek a deeper communion with Jesus. I hope to find rest in the Lord and rid myself of the distress of unrest flaunted by the media. I hope to calm my heart. I hope to listen and to hear.

There are a billion people on journeys today, and I know very few, yet God knows each one. He knows you – your needs – your desires – your hopes. And He wants you to rest in Him. In fact, He offers it.

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Further Reading: Psalm 91

Click here to read Post 2 in this series: “I Own This Property on the Great Lake.”

 

 

 

Take it personal – His purpose.

My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. . . I summon a bird . . . or a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about. What I have planned, that will I do. It is my purpose that prevails. My word goes out and achieves the purpose for which I sent it. Though you walk in the midst of trouble, I will preserve your life; I will save you; I will fulfill my purpose for you.

Though you walk in the midst of trouble, God says. We all have been walking in this midst of trouble in Spring 2020.

He says He will fulfill his purpose for us. What is His purpose for me – for you? His Word has gone forth and He is speaking to us through His own creation. Are you listening? I am. And I am strengthened in faith as I contemplate.

I have never before seen so many photos posted on social media – of nature – of sunrises and sunsets; of beautiful birds; of spring flowers pushing up through the cold soil; of budding bushes; of flowering trees – all of nature, God’s own creation. I am enjoying the photos. And I sense a unity among those of us, the people of His creation, who are discovering these elements of nature more than ever before.

What is the purpose?

As I write this very article, I sit at my old table by the window, facing the storm-battered Maple beside our house. I look up at its small budded leaves, which increase in size and depth of green each day. I observe both male and female Baltimore and Orchard Orioles. Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Blue jays, Robins. Mourning Doves. Rose Breasted Grosbeaks.  Varied species, paralleling our varied circle of human community. Beautiful in God’s eyes.

Placed here with purpose.

Here in Michigan, we delight in the resurgence and arrival of the birds that had left the cold for the warmth of the south many months ago. Now they have returned, and we are listening to their song, amazed by their color, enraptured with their beauty.

What is the purpose?

I look further, to the patio and into what we call Matt’s little woods. I have planted a few bulbs, such as the daffodils or tulips, that surround the edge of the growth of small maples, but I didn’t plant the Umbrellas and May Flowers, the Adder’s Tongues and Blood Roots, or the Cowslips that carpet the floor of the spring woods. They arise to their creator.

What is the purpose?

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I remember my walk through the woods a few days ago. Morels camouflaged amidst the dried leaves carried over from fall.

What is the purpose?

Yellow forsythia. Crab apple. Flowering bushes and towering trees that appeared dead through the long winter have budded in renaissance.

What is the purpose?

Could it be that the purpose of the great beauty of Spring 2020, the most noticeably striking in years, one which has captured our every physical sense, is poured upon us as a reminder from our God that He has not forsaken us as we walk through the midst of trouble. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It is He who has created everything good. It is He who has created the beautiful nature we see and enjoy – who has created the depths of the deep waters and the waves in the Great Lakes surrounding our state and in the oceans surrounding our country. No person or entity can control those bodies of water – not a scientist – not a country – not a leader or ruler.

My word goes out and achieves the purpose

for which I sent it. ~ The Lord God

I believe that He sent that Word out all those years ago, in the beginning, speaking into being these elements of nature, knowing that their display in this anomalous Spring of 2020 would bring joy to our lives – at a time we needed it most. I believe that His purpose for us is to be encouraged, to know that He is God, that He is in control, and that we can trust Him. To be reassured that He will never forsake us.

Did He summon that
bird that delights us or that budding
element of nature to fulfill His purpose.
I think so. Take it personal. Listen to Him speaking. Let your heart be renewed
in the knowledge of His faithfulness. Yesterday, today, and forever.

Further Reading:

Isaiah 46:10; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 138:8; Hebrews 13:8

Thank you to Wayne Riley for your beautiful photo of the Oriole in flight!

(May 7, 2020 Flower Moon Photo from CNN.com)

A New Normal

The New Normal

I don’t like it. And from what I gather, I’m not alone.

I’ve been thinking about it. Someday I’ll go back to the grocery store – without a mask. I’ll get my hair cut and colored. I’ll hug a friend, a neighbor. Or will I? Will it ever be the same? Experts tell us it won’t. It’ll be a new normal.

I haven’t liked the new normals of the past. The empty nest when the kids left home. Life without Mama after she passed. Life without Daddy. I really don’t want a new normal.

While I wait, I walk around my house. I cook. I bake. I order groceries. I send out sympathy cards. I pray. Oh God. Give me wisdom. I can’t seem to focus without your direction.

So much to do. Spring cleaning. A lifetime of photos to sort – to scan – to organize. A devotional book to write. A Bible Study to promote. But no motivation. It rains. It hails. The sun shines. I step outside. I walk. Work in the garden. Plant. Breathe in the fresh air. Soak up the sunshine. I pray. Oh God. Give me wisdom.

The wisdom is found in the Word. He is the wisdom. I listen. He speaks. I hear “Jesus whispers!”

“Kathi, you are coming to a crossroad. This is where the paths meet. This is where wisdom takes her stand. This is where you take your stand. Wisdom is crying out to you. Stand at these crossroads and look at your past. Ask for the ancient paths, the paths where you have found wisdom before. Ask for the good way. Find it. Walk in that way. It’s where you’ll find rest for your soul.” *

A crossroad. I have a choice. I determine my new normal. I want to be wise in choosing the path I take out of this time of isolation. Of lockdown. Of stay-at-home. Wisdom is crying out to me. Am I listening? Am I heeding the message?

I look at the past as the Word says. Good decisions. Bad decisions. I’ll be wise to learn from both.

I consider the ancient paths. Hebrews, chapter 11, begins by telling us that the “ancients” were commended for their faith. Then it gives example after example of those who exhibited tremendous faith. This is where I start – in the Word. A bit further, in chapter 13, I read to remember those who spoke the word of God to me – to imitate their faith. So as I consider the past, I ask, Where have I seen wisdom in action? Who displayed wisdom? Who modeled it? I think of those strongholds of the faith- Corrie tenBoom, who hid Jews in her home during the Holocaust and was herself punished in a concentration camp. She walked in “the good way.” I think of missionaries through the centuries. I think of Reverend Lindner, who led me to Christ – who faithfully taught children about Jesus. As I look at the “ancient paths,” I think of countless, wise models of wisdom. Those who have taken the “good way” God tells me to take – as I choose the path at this “crossroad” in my life.

What have I learned during this time of isolation? I’ve been comfortable, but I’ve observed others who are not. I’ve known people with COVID19 who have recovered; and I know one who suffers unbearably from it. I’ve spent days filled with anxiety; I’ve spent days filled with contentment. But all of those days are filled with a sense of uneasiness. None have been “normal.”  Families are struggling. Friends have lost their loved ones and cannot have a funeral. Drive-through funeral visitations have become a norm in my community. I sit at a social distance with my own flesh and blood in order to speak for a few minutes. I FaceTime or Zoom with my family that live away. I’ve learned that although the expression, “we’re all in this together” is tossed around with the purpose of bringing hope and encouragement, hate is nonetheless sown, as well, and it germinates and produces an ugly poisonous plant. Politics always seem to have the trump card in every discussion, and the rules change as the game progresses. I’m truly not fond of facing a “new normal.”

This isolation – the lockdown – will end. I’m at a crossroad. And you are too. We face a “new normal.” I don’t want to choose the comfortable path that I used to think was the most important thing in this world. I want to have learned from what we’ve been through. I want to reach out – physically and in spirit – to those who are struggling. I want to play by God’s rules. I want the seed I sow to produce a beautiful plant – one that glorifies God. I want to choose the “good way” and walk in it. And as I hear “Jesus whispers,” (the Word of God) I’ll find rest for my soul in that “way.” Rest is what it’s all about. Not the rest I get at night when I sleep. Or the rest I encounter when I sit around the house these days, lacking energy or purpose. But the rest I read about in the Word. The rest He promises. The rest I desire. The rest of my spirit. The rest that brings me peace, knowing everything is well, knowing my future is secure. (I wrote a bit about rest in another recent post in this series: https://kathiwaligora.com/shelter-in-place/)

Your future is before you. Let’s not be overly concerned about finding the “new normal,” but be more concerned about choosing the right path at this crossroad; the “way” – the “good way” – and walking in it.

*Proverbs 8:2; Jeremiah 6:16; Hebrews 11; Hebrews 13:7

I have been fearful during some of these days of the COVID19 pandemic and isolation. But today I am not frightened.

I have had a significant amount of anxiety during this COVID19 pandemic. But today, I am not anxious.

Today, I am angry.

I am angry with the thief who is killing and stealing and destroying. I am angry with the demons who serve him and do his dirty work.

And today, I am sad.

  • I am sad that we can’t meet with our church family and celebrate the life of our friend who has passed – to hug his family and tell them how we loved him – to sing “The Days of Elijah” while we dance the aisles, as he did – to feel the tears drop down my cheeks as we all sing one final “I’ll Fly Away.”
  • I am sad that my cousins cannot sit with their dying mother at her hospital bed – sad that she cannot feel the comfort only those children can bring – feel the warmth of their cheeks on hers, their wet lashes returning the comfort hers once gave.
  • I am sad that I cannot gather with my extended family at the graveside – to honor and say farewell to a blessed cousin – to hear sweet stories about her – to tell her children and grandchildren how much she meant to me.
  • I am sad that our friends cannot comfort their dying father in the nursing home – cannot wrap his hands in theirs and pray him to glory.

None of these things can happen because of the thief. So today I am angry, and today, I am sad.

But like any other day – those of fearfulness, anxiety, anger, happiness, or – like today – sadness, I look to Jesus. And I listen.

He whispers,

“Kathi, don’t let your heart be saddened. Don’t be troubled. I’m preparing everything.  I hear you, and I will deliver you all. Now is your time to comfort from afar.  I am close to your friends and family in their suffering and loss. I am their comfort. “

So I trust Him: The God of Comfort.

(From Psalm 34, John 14, 2 Corinthians 1)