Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Rock of Peace!

This week I have been carrying around a small rock in my pocket. Now, that's not unusual for me in the past - especially when my kids seemed to hand me new little pebbles, medium sized stones, and some large rocks each and every day. Eventually those stones would secretly make their way back into my garden or backyard. My pockets (and countertops) just couldn't hold onto them all!

I do know why they felt compelled to give me these rocks. How do I know? Because I asked them. Their response . . ."because we know you LOVE rocks mom!" :) ??? Hmmm . . . how did they know that? I don't recall saying that I loved this part of God's creation.

I did have a polished rock collection from my years of scouring the ground and quarries in rural Minnesota when I was in grade school. I would use my own rock polisher machine to make my agates, amythists, and other precious stones shine and sparkle. It was my own private gem collection! I was hooked! I couldn't help but look down everywhere I went - seeing what kind of rocks I could find. Occasionally I would find other treasures . . . coins, broken toys, candy wrappers and more. It was awesome!

So why have I been carrying around a small rock in my pocket all week now? No - it's not from my kids. Thankfully my kids outgrew (or forgot about) their habit of giving me such lovely stone gifts. This rock is a small smooth river rock that I had written "God's peace" on it during a MOPS craft activity last year. Here's how it ended up in my clothing.

This past Tuesday I was spending some time with the Lord. It had been awhile since I had some quality one-on-one time with Him without too many interruptions. I had alot on my mind to discuss with Him - so I started in. . . . . "What should we do about the kid's schooling next year? What should we do about . . . . What about this? . . . . and this? . . . . " etc - you get the picture. My mind was FULL! I had been feeling overwhelmed with life - not being able to get things done, trying to give my 5 kids and hubby all the attention they needed, getting frustrated at all the things in our house that need fixing - not to mention the fact that it always seems to be a mess and I'm tired of cleaning it . . . . . . . . . I'm just feeling discontent and overwhelmed lately.

I started walking along a dirt path with the Lord (in my mind as I was praying). I was talking to him about all the little stones around us on this path that I felt the need to pick up and do something with. It was so overwhelming as there were soooo many rocks - too many to hold in my hands (or pockets for that matter!). I asked God for what HE wanted to give me. He turned and picked up something - then placed it in my empty arms. It was a HUGE rock to carry! This was His "burden" (yoke) - but I realized that it really wasn't as heavy as it looked like it would be. It actually was quite comfortable to carry, kept my hands and arms completely full, and was really satisfying.

I continued to worry, however, about all the little stones we were passing that I still felt like I should be tending to (ie - all my daily tasks, family issues, my schedule, etc). He said to just focus on the rock that I was carrying instead. I looked at it closer and it had the word "PEACE" on it. I am to carry it for awhile. I continued to ask Him about the other stones (can you tell I'm stubborn??!) - but He showed me that I cannot pick them up without first putting down the PEACE rock. I cannot carry both right now. Maybe later we can deal with the little stones - but for now He wanted me to focus on this big rock. He then showed me a HUGE pile of other large rocks.
"Lori - I have all these to give you." God said.
It did seem really silly to me to want to pick up all the little one now. He said the big ones (which had the words - JOY, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, etc on them) are what He is giving me to use to build my altar/memorial glorifying Him (or foundation stones even). It is for my kids and grandkids to be able to see and say "Look at what the Lord has done." - just like in the OT when Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River. God had them take 12 stones from the riverbed and set them up at Gilgal. "Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." (Josua 4:5-7)
God went on to tell me that the little stones (ie - worries of the day - the non-essentials in of true/eternal life) will not make good memorial stones. It would take forever to build with those little rocks! It would not be impressive. I would just be a pile of little stones.

PLUS - God also showed me that by carrying around His large "burdens" - the little stones would seem really easy to carry afterwards! :)

So . . . starting this past Tuesday, and for however long God deems necessary, my burden is to carry PEACE with me - in my life and in my family's life. That night I noticed that I had a good sized rock in my bathroom that I had bought at a store . . . and wouldn't you know it - the word "PEACE" was carved into it! :) I had forgotten about that! Then I found the small stone on my bedside table in a candle holder (with other stones). I have kept it in my pocket since then. Each time I notice my mind wandering down the path of picking up the little stones - I just feel the rock in my pocket and remind myself that I am already carrying PEACE! It has helped alot this week! :)

Some awesome scriptures about PEACE:

Psalm 34:14b - "Seek PEACE and pursue it."

Psalm 29:11 - "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with PEACE."

Psalm 37:37b - "there is a future for the man of PEACE."

Psalm 119:165 - "Great PEACE have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."

Proverbs 14:30 - "A heart at PEACE gives life to the body. . ."

Isaiah 26:3&4 - "You will keep in perfect PEACE him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the ROCK eternal."

Isaiah 48:18 - "If only you had paid attention to my commands, your PEACE would have been like a river . . ."

Isaiah 57:2 - "Those who walk uprightly, enter into PEACE; they find rest as they lie in death."

Romans 15:13 - "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and PEACE as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (this verse got me through our adoption journey!)

Phillipians 4:6&7 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everthing, by prayer and pettion, with thansgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God which transcends all understandning will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And for all of you . . .

"Now may the Lord of PEACE himself give you PEACE at all times and in every way . . ." (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Lori :)


Happyhome said...

What a beautiful visual. It is hard to pick up the nonessentials when you are filled with what matters.

Reminds me of a similiar blog post I wrote awhile back. You might find it encouraging as you're considering the rocks the Lord has given you.


Terri said...

I just love how the Lord visualizes things for you. What a wonderful time you spent with Him!

I had a dream last night, which is very unusual for me. I'm like J in that way oh and the cotton balls. LOL Anyway, as I was waking up (my eyes were not open yet) I felt the Lord say "Tell Lori this dream." So, I will email it to you. You were not in it tho. ;)

Lori :) said...

Happyhome -
Thank so much for sharing your blog post. It is VERY similar! God is soo cool in how He communicates to all of us! He is the same - yesterday, today and Forever!! PTL!!

Lori :)

bree said...

I love, love, love this! Thank you! I'm visual too:) (how are those running shoes?:) )
Received the news letter-thank you so much! What a beautiful family-God bless you all! Big hugs-talk to you soon!

Lori :) said...

Bree -
Can you send us some snow? :) I did see a few flurries yesterday (for all of about 5 minutes)!
Miss you guys!

Lori :)