Known and Unknown

I believe one reason we fear silence and stillness is we do not want to know ourselves and what God has to say about us. If we could only trust Him in a small way we would learn that He loves us more than we love ourselves. In fact, He treasures and adores us.

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

Zephaniah 3:17 NRSV
Stefan Kunze Upsplash

The writings of Oswald Chambers contained in the book noted below were excerpted from articles published by God’s Bible School in Cincinnati. The articles were taken from his classroom lectures and Bible studies and published in the school’s periodical God’s Revivalist.

What does the Bible mean when it says to be an example to the flock of God? You must be a walking example of what you believe, in every moment of your life, known and unknown. You must bear the scrutiny of God until you prove that you are indeed a specimen of what He can do. Then He will send you out to disciple all nations.

Oswald Chambers, September 18 selection from “Devotions for a Deeper Life”

Every moment known and unknown. Things done in secret. I do not think this refers just to shameful things. Our deepest wounds are often kept private. The healing the Lord may give from those wounds is also usually given in private. The deep formation of a disciple usually takes place in private.

But whenever you pray, enter into your inner room and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Matthew 6:6 NIV

Your Father who sees in secret. He hears every whisper or shout of a prayer. Your Father knows you inside and out. He will not require that you share with others what He does in your secret place of prayer. There may however, come a time when you want to shout His work from the rooftops.

Matt Hanns Upsplash

Dietrich Bonhoeffer captured my attention writing in The Cost of Discipleship when he emphasized that we each walk alone with God.

Every man is called separately and must follow alone. 

Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, Discipleship and the Individual

Many of us admire other Christians but we know little or nothing about what it takes for them to be public Christians. We have no clue what happens between them and the Trinity in private. No idea the depth of their wounds or the strength of the healing times the Lord has sent to them. All most often occur in private.

You interact with your Father in a private place, even if you are kneeling in a sanctuary packed with other people. We can share our experiences with others but we are essentially alone with Christ in our walk. Yes, He encourages fellowship with those who are like minded, but in the final analysis we are each alone with Him. He reads our heart. He corrects our course. He convicts us when we go astray. He gives us His righteousness. He suffered and died for our salvation and for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NRSV)

Public, private, the deepest things occur in a private place with your Holy Trinity God.

Steffany Gretzinger in her song “Forever Amen” sums it up for me. “I was made to love You. Let me hear the sound of Your voice…”

I would strongly encourage you that when you hear the sound of His voice, go running to a quiet place. Listen up! For unlike human parents, the Father does not waste His breath. He speaks to us with power, love, meaning and transformative powers.

At Best Buy

An older man walking with a cane was leaving the back of the store as I stood in line at the Geek Squad service desk. He took two steps and seemed to gasp. I thought perhaps his oxygen was faulty? He had a small black bag over his shoulder. The store greeter offered him their wheelchair. The man shook him off. I watched him go to his car to make certain he was okay. He made it on his own. Otherwise, I was going to grab the Best Buy wheelchair and offer to escort him to his car. The store greeter asked if he could help me. I told him I was watching the man to be certain he made it to his car. He told me he was watching too, on the front door monitor. I commented the man did not look well. Store employee agreed.

The nice man at the Geek Squad desk was able to release my computer to me early. It has been running extremely slow and making writing this blog and other tasks frustrating. So I took it in for a tune up.

When I was finished and had loaded my computer back into my trunk, I noticed the man had returned but had not yet exited his car. Went to speak with him and offer my empty cart if he wanted to use it to walk back into the store. Asked if he was okay.

He said he was embarrassed. He got in the store previously and thought he had lost his wallet. He went home to see if he had left it there. Turns out he was not carrying oxygen, but a murse, “Man-Purse”. He had put his wallet in the wrong pocket. He was so angry with himself. That is why he was huffing as he left the store. Just so, so angry. I assured him we all do those sorts of things.

He said growing old is hard. I said it is not for sissies! He laughed and said his mother used to say that. He said “Someone above has always looked out for me. Call it Him or Her or whatever you want.” I assured him I need all the help I can get and rely on God all the time.

We continued to chat. I asked him to be gentle with himself. We all need help. Be kind to himself. He was then smiling and breathing better. He took my cart back into the store.

As I drove away I wondered if he might have benefited from a meditation I heard recently. Are you familiar with the app “Calm”? I recently listened to a morning meditation read by Tamara Levitt. The link to Calm explains her role as “A meditator of over 25 years, Tamara is the Head of Mindfulness at Calm, where she writes and narrates the company’s meditation content, a role she has held since 2014.”. That morning the title captured me. The reading was “Age Mindfully.” I was so impressed I transcribed it. Below are portions of her writing. She is quite gifted.

Getting older isn’t easy. As we age our memory beings to fade. Our body begins to slow down. And the world responds differently to us. We can’t trivialize these challenges. They are real. And they can feel scary. But if on top of those real challenges we resist our changing reality, we are sure to suffer.

Tamara Levi

I am now convicted. In my concern for the man as he left the store I assumed his murse was an oxygen unit. I am wondering though if he might have been more patient with himself over the misplaced wallet if he had grasped the idea that resisting the challenges of our changing reality brings us suffering?

Many authors of many types explore the ideas of impermanence and the transitory nature of life. I will address that in another posting. Tamara went on to say:

We can allow impermanence to be our teacher, observing our changing reality and then rather than resisting the aging process, we become more able to embrace it with a sense of openness. With less resistance we are more easily able to flow from one year to the next, one stage of life to another.

Tamara Levitt

Less resistance. Sounds good if I can actually embrace and accept the changing phases of my strength, age and abilities. The good news is my right foot and leg are improving and I might get rid of this orthotic boot very soon! Physical therapy pays off. The exercises will be needed the rest of my life.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come
.

Psalm 71:18

Mr. Lake and Friends

Brandon Lake published/released a new CD called “Help!” in May of this year. The writers have nailed the hearts of so many Christians with these insightful lyrics. One song is written from God’s point of view instead of ours. The title is “Don’t You Give Up On Me.” With so many seeming to turn their backs on God this is a timely and true call to come back to the Shepherd of our souls. He loves us more than we love ourselves or each other.

The writers are Michael John Fatkin, Benjamin William Hastings, and Brandon Lake. Part of the lyrics read:

I see you child
Though you can't see me
And I know your thoughts
Before you even think
I heard every last prayer you prayed
Though I answered all the time
You just didn't hear my reply
And I know it's not easy, oh

Don't you give up on me
'Cause the darker the night gets
The brighter the light hits
Don't you give up on me
You ain't seen what I promised
Child we're just getting started
Oh There is so much more

That is just a portion of the lyrics. When I heard the song the first few times I thought he sang, “I heard every last prayer you prayed, Though I answered all the time, You just didn’t heed my reply.When I actually printed the lyrics I saw it was written “You just didn’t hear my reply.” Hearing and Heeding.

Just as we are called to trust and obey, we are also called to hear and to heed. What good is hearing His reply but not heeding it, not walking in step with His will and ways?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1:22-25 NIV

The line “I heard every last prayer you prayed” has a different emphasis from any other line in the song. Trust me, I have listened to this one repeatedly. The writing is genius. Even after I have listened I sometimes hear this one line echoing in my spirit, “I heard every last prayer you prayed.”

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Psalm 139: 1-6 NIV

Have you been tempted to turn your back on God and run with the ways of the world? Have you ever known a reliable source in the world that can say the following?

I'll be your way
Whеn there's no way out
And I'll be your strеngth
When your strength runs out
And if you walk into the fire
I'll be right there in the flames
I wouldn't have it any other way
'Cause loving you's easy, yeah

We are also reminded that God is not finished with us yet.

Open your heart, open your hands, open your eyelids
I've got more dreams, I've got more plans, I've got more blessing
Don't lose your hope, don't lose your faith, that's where your fight is
I've got more dreams, I've got more plans, I've got more blessings

Here is Brandon speaking about how they wrote this song over Zoom. If you wait there is a few seconds and the link will play the song.

Mercy

Anchor devotional is published by The Haven of Rest, better known know as simply Haven. I receive one devotional booklet per month. The theme for the month of July was fishing, written by “Pastor and outdoorsman, Brian White.”

Vintage engraving of Fishermen baiting the lines, North Sea fishing boat, 19th Century. Long line fishing for cod in the North Sea, Victorian, 19th Century

Friday July 29 was entitled “Mercy to the Deepest Depths.” In this entry Pastor White wrote about deep sea fishing. “Some anglers will ask if they might hit the bottom.” He basically tells them not a chance. His writing reflects the heart of “the Fisher of men.”

The prophet Micah declares that while the sinfulness of those that rebel against God is great, His desire to show mercy is even greater. His compassion has a depth that we cannot truly begin to comprehend, and He displays it to us when we turn to Him seeking forgiveness.

Brain White, writing in Anchor Devotional July, 2022

As I draw closer and closer to my Savior I am more aware of my sinfulness. Things I might previously have thought of as errors are brought into sharper focus in light of the righteousness of Jesus. I fall short of His likeness, but His mercy shines more brightly than ever before. I am made aware of my propensity for sin. Brian White is correct. I cannot truly comprehend His compassion. White goes on to say:

The judgement of God was carried out at the cross, where Jesus took it on our behalf. Because of this, we experience a depth of God’s compassion and mercy that truly has no bottom. Conceiving of the oceans’ depths is hard for many of us; grasping the deep, deep love of Jesus is greater and more wondrous still

Brian White

The devotional ends that day with this prayer. “Father, thank you that through Jesus we can know that the depth of our sin is not greater than the depth of Your mercy. Amen.”

Have you recognized the depth of your sin? Have you taken it to the Father asking for forgiveness? Why wait? Paul urges us to keep a short list with the Father. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

While reading this Anchor entry Matt Redman’s song rang through my soul. Enjoy!

Convergence of Themes

While preparing my notes to teach Philippians 4 these ideas merged from reading novels, etc. Am always amazed how the Holy Spirit does this!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4 NRSV

Why is this necessary? When I rejoice in the Lord I take the focus off me, myself and I. I put my attention on God who is greater, higher, more wise than I will ever be. We are told this twice to emphasize the critical importance of doing this.

LET your gentleness be known to everyone.

Philippians 4:5 NRSV

Some translations read ‘let your forbearance be known to all’. Forbearance means patient self-control; restraint and tolerance.”  

For years a favorite of mine has been

Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great.

Psalm 18:35b AMP

God’s gentleness towards me. His forbearance.

The funny thing was Franny, like most people, thought life would get easier as she got older. It didn’t. She just got better at handling the crises.

The Big Cat Nap by Rita Mae Brown

Who among us has never had to handle crises? Well, duh! We all have if we have lived with our eyes open and our heads above the sand! So how do you handle a crisis? One method is realizing when others have a crisis, it is not necessarily my business. The Bible tells us to mind your own business, pay attention to your own personal life. As our Pastor’s mother taught him, “paddle your own canoe.” When codependency rears its ugly head, I must remind myself to paddle my own canoe.

In Britain many pubs have a floor below street level. When you enter there is often a sign that reads, “Mind Your Head!” Oh what wisdom! Not just so you do not get a knot on your head, but my head is where the battle ground lies. Wandering, irritating thoughts bring discomfort.

Taking captive every thought unto Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Your mind is your job! That is a job in itself.

“Useless thoughts spoil everything and much mischief begins there.”

Brother Lawrence

So how are you doing with your head? Can you rejoice always? Do you know forbearance and gentleness? Have you made those qualities known to all? Are you working to paddle your own canoe by taking EVERY thought captive to Christ Jesus? Can those idle thoughts stand in the light of His presence and wisdom?

Are you truly aware that when others have a crisis it is not necessarily your business?

Whew! I have my work cut out for me. No idle time to criticize others! If we truly follow the things we are told to DO in the New Testament, there is no time to worry about the “do nots.: God is able to keep me as I follow Him. Every thought captive unto Him.

I rejoice in You, Lord. I bring every thought captive to You. Help me to glorify You in my every word and deed. Give me Your patient self-control, restraint and tolerance. May You receive all the glory and honor, power, praise and thanksgiving forever! Amen.

Philippians 3

Our small group has been studying Philippians 3. Then I read this selection by Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest. Hope it encourages you as it did me! First the Scripture.

For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:8b-11 RSV

“That I may know Him.” The initiative of the saint is not towards self-realization, but towards knowing Jesus Christ. The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a reckless abandonment about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do. Self-realization leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work. Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples’ feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized His relationship to the Father even in the most menial work. “Jesus knowing … that He was come from God, and went to God … took a towel…and began to wash the disciples’ feet.

The aim of the spiritual saint is “that I may know Him.” Do I know Him where I am today? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realization that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in.”

Utmost July 11

Do you know Him in your activities today? I love the phrase ‘everything he is dumped down in.” Have you spoken to Him today? Will you be obedient to whatever He tells you, following Him as closely as possible?

At what time during the day do you lose touch with Him? Can you set your watch or a timer to remind you to turn your attention back to include Him at about that hour? There. I set an alarm for everyday at the same afternoon time. As for helping me turn my attention to Christ I will try anything for a bit!

Post-its on the wall with Scripture. Pack of 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 cards with verses and quotes to tune my heart. A bracelet reminding me to turn to God with meek, humble, patient relinquishment to Him. I don’t even like to wear bracelets, but this helps! A silver chain to remind me that, like Paul, I have given myself to Christ. Paul declared he was in chains for Christ. Turn your attention to Him in all things Molly Lin.

What do you do when you have walked away, having finished your morning devotions and your day is underway, to keep your eyes upon Him? So many distractions every hour of the day. How do you keep your heart upon Him?

What effort are you willing to make to ‘know Him’?

If you want to read My Utmost for His Highest for free, you can do that online at

Disarm me with Your Love

Have you ever been naughty and you knew it while you were being naughty. Not just in childhood, but have you done things as an adult that you knew were not good for you? But you did them anyway.

Recently we were watching the “Untold story of C. S. Lewis” about how he resisted and ran from being a Christian for much of his early life. How he used reasoning and thinking to try to avoid the Living God. I was delighted that authors like George MacDonald introduced him subtly to the power of the Holy Spirit.

This morning I opened another old devotional book that is a collection of quotes, poems and stories. This one was collected by Mary Wilder Tileston entitled Joy & Strength. First copyright was 1901. She quotes a poem by George MacDonald.

Lord, to Thy call of me I bow,
Obey like Abraham;
Thou lov'st me because Thou art Thou,
And I am what I am.

Doubt whispers, "thou art such a blot
He cannot love poor thee,"
If what I am He loveth not,
He loves what I shall be.

Isn’t that wonderful? Paul wrote in Philippians 3: 12 “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.” God has plans for us. He loves us and what we shall be.

Tileston went on to quote a paragraph by Juliana H. Ewing.

We may hate ourselves when we come to realize failings we have not recognized before, and feel that there are probably others which we do not yet see as clearly as other people see them, but this kind of impatience for our perfection is not felt by those who love us, I am sure. It is one’s greatest comfort to believe that it is not even felt by God. Just as a mother would not love her child the better for its being turned into a model of perfection at once, but does love it the more dearly every time it tries to be good, so I do hope and believe our Great Father does not wait for us to be good and wise to love us, but loves us, and loves to help us in the very thick of our struggles with folly and sin.

Juliana H. Ewing

Juliana was on to something here. God wants us to try and keep on trying to be obedient to what He tells us. He does not love us less when we fail. Someone coined the phrase “God will never love you more than He does right now.” Yes, He loves to help us ‘in the very thick of our struggles.’

I have always believed that God disarms me with His love. If I dig in my heals about something He does not fight with me. He loves me and melts my armor and my arguments against Him. I can resist and pout if I want. He is still moving towards me with love.

Can you see some of the chains you have put upon yourself? For years Lewis determined to have nothing to do with ‘religion.’ He resisted the Father and the Son, but he was no match for the Holy Spirit. God loved what Lewis would become. He disarmed Lewis with His love.

God has plans for your life, too! He loves you now. He will love eternally. Have you yielded to His love for you? Are you willing to bend your ways to His? Lewis was not enamored of church. Let’s face it, Anglican hymns leave SO much to be desired. Yet he went where he thought he should go to find God.

There is great value in being with other Christians. You will not like all of them. If there were a perfect church and I walked into it, it would not longer be the perfect church. Yet we need each other. We need to grow and learn and pray and struggle together.

We each have failings we likely have not recognized up to now. Go to church anyway. Start watching a variety of sermons on line until you find a local place to attend. Then go regularly and find ways to grow there. The Trinity will rejoice and eventually you will, too!

Ewing wrote: “our Great Father does not wait for us to be good and wise to love us, but loves us, and loves to help us in the very thick of our struggles with folly and sin.”

Giants Among Us!

Recently we watched a National Geographic program entitled the “Green Planet” showing plants from all over the world. They emphasized how plants grow to obtain the best sunlight. Theses lily plants are the largest in the world. They begin very small and unfold to cover the most pool surface and the most sunlight. As the pond fills in with lily leaves, the other water plants die off, starved for sunlight. I was so excited during this program I almost sounded like Bob watching FC Cincinnati when they “SCORE!!!” (Imagine man screaming and dog terrified.)

Yes, they are approximately six feet across and can support a grown man! Can you imagine? That is a plant I would love to see in person! No, these lily plants do not grow on stalky stems like the ones that grow at the Nature Center of Cincinnati. As you can see the flowers are on the water surface, too.

If you have followed my blog you have likely read my poem about Lily Pads. In case you missed it:

Perhaps I Could Ask You Just to Stand and Tip? ©1990       Molly Lin Dutina 	
Lily pads at the pond		
Grow on stalky stems
Leaves unfold an opened palm
Cupped at center point
Summer shower starts to drop
Mercurial glistening spheres
Gathering in the center spot
‘til bulbous weight smears silver drops
Into glistening globs
And tips the leaves so full
To pour their contents overboard
And rising from the spill
Stately shielded lily-hands
Begin the cycle once more

Keep my stem flexible, Lord
My hands open and cupped
Eager to receive Your all
Questioning not Your skill
Only trusting the power of Your love
To melt my rigid will

Drench me Lord 
In Your shower of love
Let me gather and drink my fill
Then spill over on those around
And rise to await Your will

Send water of Your Spirit
To tip me over, pour me out
Then wash over me once again
Fresh cleansing by Holy Words

Shine Your light through
This enshrouding mist
Color me with covenant this:
Abiding presence and constant love,
Indwelling grace that conquers sin
Transfigured rigid I
Yielded and bent
In Your service	
Spilling forth rivers of living water	
And giving rest to croaky voiced frogs	  
Who, when Spirit-kissed,
Become priests and kings	
Singing their praises to You.

Perhaps You ask me just to be Your lily leaf
Stand and tip


Now that is a monster lily leaf!

Unlike the giant lily leaves, I do not want to crowd out the other plants from the sun. Instead, I want to direct others to the Light of Christ, the best Sun/Son of all. Seek Him. When you seek Him, you will find Him, if you seek Him with all of your heart.

 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the Lord

Jeremiah 29: 13-14a

First Duty and Contemporary Quote

William Law wrote:

The first duty of the day and of your life is to get into the right place of dependence before God, in meek, patient, humble resignation to Him. From morning to night! You need to see that it is not only in your morning devotions when you ask and expect strength for the day, but through the whole day for every moment of it that the clothing of humility is to be worn.

William Law, Freedom from a Self-centered Life

In 1 Peter 5 we are told to clothe ourselves with humility. Law is teaching that humility includes recognizing that God knows what is best for each of us. He opposes those who are proud and gives grace to those who are humble. Don’t we each need more grace?

What if we are not taking this ‘first duty of the day’ seriously? What if we continue to define our own way in life even after we meet the Risen Savior and find His grace for salvation, making choices dictated by our flesh, whims and fancies?? I was reading AARP Bulletin for July/August 2022 (of all things) and found what I think is a great contemporary quote from Ice-T about our choices.

Ice-T at 64

You have probably seen him sometime in the past 20 years on Law & Order. The subtitle to the article reads “From hustler to rap icon to ‘Law & Order’ star: Ice-T, 64, describes his unique American journey. I respect him as an actor so I read the article.

Life is based on crossroads that we choose from every day. Small decisions change the trajectory of your life.

Ice-T AARP Bulletin July/August 2022

Can you even imagine how the trajectory of your life will change if you take Ice-T’s advice and couple that to try William Law’s teaching that through the whole day, for every moment? To get and stay in the right place of dependence before God? I am still experimenting and trying to train myself towards this.

I will confess perhaps one of the biggest obstacles is the chronic pain I suffer. When the daily headache clobbers me I find it hard to think at all, much less think about my position in regards to dependence upon God. Oh Lord, I need Your help in this. If there is ever a time that a small decision could change the trajectory of my life, it would likely be that time. As the saying goes, it is easier to praise God when things are going well than when things are not going well. Give me strength I pray to yield to Your help and guidance, even in those moments of being overwhelmed. I know You are there with me.

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Colossians 3:12 NRSV

Gosh, that sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Streams in the Desert

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman compiled quotes from Sunday School lessons, sermons, books and Scriptures that were published under her title “Streams in the Desert” in 1925. A friend gave me a copy that was in the 29th printing in 1950. My friend did not like it due to the older style of speaking. Now it has even been published in contemporary English.

In 2005 Bob bought me a copy that was published as a journal with lines to make notes. I have noted things over the years. IN 2018 I posed the question, “Molly can you read sea charts and navigate by the stars? No.” This morning when I opened it the bookmark fell to June 1st. Ha! I love her quote from Charles Spurgeon, known as a “Prince of Preachers” during the late 1800’s.

Why dost thou worry thyself? What use can thy fretting serve? Thou art onboard a vessel which thou couldst not steer even if the great Captain put thee at the helm, of which thou couldst not so much as reef a sail, yet thou worriest as if thou wert captain and helmsman. Oh, be quiet; God is Master!

C. H Spurgoen

It reads something like: Why do you worry yourself? What use can your fretting serve? You are aboard a vessel which you could not steer even if the great Captain put you at the helm, of which you could not so much as reef a sail {I do not even know what that means!} yet you worry as if you were captain and helmsman. OH BE QUIET; God is Master!

I got the OH BE QUIET part. Aren’t there times when we need to tell ourselves to shut up and sit down? Lately I have been in an orthotic boot trying to recover from Plantar fasciitis. That pesky ligament in the bottom of your foot that can get inflamed. My trusty foot surgeon basically told me to go sit down, do icing, stretches, rest, Tylenol, steroid tablets, wear the boot and rest: i.e., quit walking so much. Once out of school, does anyone heed when they are told to go sit down? Well, if the pain is bad enough this one does.

Molly, OH BE QUIET. You are not a foot surgeon and you do not know what is best for you. Sit down and hush. As the weeks have plodded on with me thumping along in this orthotic boot, strapping and unstrapping the front blade on with the tearing sound of Velcro, I have repeatedly told myself, “Buckle up, Buttercup and Hush! Stop complaining and be grateful you have good medical care. How many women on the run from Ukraine need an orthotic boot and do not have access to one?”

What am I worried about? Bob has had to do the dog walking a minimum of twice a day for the long walks. I do the short ones at 11 AM and 8 or 9 PM if I am able. Bob has been doing the shopping except when I go to a store and get a wheelchair cart. I am really trying to get better and store the boot until next time I need one. We have not walked along the lake road in a long time. No museums. An occasional movie. yep, fairly sedentary here. It is truly a pain for me to drive any place as it is my right foot and I cannot drive in the boot. If I drive for more than about 30 minutes it hurts to drive even with a slipper on.

Oh be quiet, Molly. Go sit down and write your blog.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

    do not fret 

Psalm 37:7 NRSV

Three times this psalm says ‘do not fret.” I always say God knew to write it 3 times because I would not catch it otherwise. Be quiet. Be still. Jesus, my Captain says: “Do not fret, over dog walks or shopping lists, or housework or other errands. Yield to this current situation and heal. Ride the storm of right now and let Father be in charge, because Molly dear, you are not.”