Bountifully

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
–Psalm 116:7

We’ve lived in Pittsburgh for almost three months now. We moved into a house built in 1929. It’s a beautiful home with countless issues we unknowingly walked into. We miss familiarity; we miss old friends. Some days the loss feels deeply painful.

The Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

There’s a friend in Nashville who is dying and several who already have. Today has been hard.

Truth-telling: Do I believe God is dealing bountifully with me? Does it feel like he’s dealing bountifully with me and with these families? No. No, it doesn’t feel bountiful.

If we stop long enough to feel it, life this side of heaven is hard and hurts and doesn’t feel good. All the feels are rough and scratchy; they wound and hurt. This side of heaven there’s a constant commingling of sorrow and joy because things here are broken. Jaggedly so. But I’m choosing to believe today that God is, among countless things, an artist. His medium is often mosaics: taking separate, broken pieces and forming them into one masterful work of art. The end work is only the artist’s until it’s finished.

As I work with him through the heartache and pain that are so often life, I want to believe the truth, his truth, that he has dealt bountifully with me. If I choose to believe he is unmercifully dealing out hardships and suffering, there’s no rest for my soul. There will be  hardships and suffering until heaven, and I am choosing today to believe that God always deals bountifully with me. It’s not always in the way I’d choose for him to deal with me. But he continues to deal out his unyielding faithfulness nevertheless.

So, today, I’m listing ways he’s dealt bountifully with me. I am not ignoring the pain, but I am fighting to see God’s provision even there. It’s so easy to complain; a friend once said, it’s lazy to complain. It’s a sacrifice to thank, a sacrifice of praise, to see God’s bountiful provision everywhere.

List:
Very little is familiar here. But he is.
We believe he brought us here and that he goes before us and will be with us.
We believe he is providing, even when his provision doesn’t always look the way we want it to.
We believe his mercies are new every morning, even when they don’t look the way we asked for them to look.
We believe he is good, even when it’s hard to make out his goodness.
We believe he is never changing, he never sleeps, he is always in our midst, he is in the details, he is love.
We believe he is a good father: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” –Matthew 7:11

Even as I type these things, I can feel my heart softening and the Spirit reminding me of God’s good gifts we’ve seen here already:
We have been loved well by new friends who are not scared away by my tears and have delved into life with us around their table and ours.
We have neighbors who brought us a feast in a Steelers’ cooler and continue to explode and expand our definition of generosity.
We see God’s overflowing provision in our church and in our kids’ schools. . . .

God has dealt bountifully with me. And however my list of that bounty looks today, it always ends with the truth that he saved me and is saving me and is mighty to do so. I deserve eternal death, but he is graciously bountiful to me in Jesus.

My little sister taught me to pray about the details, however small, because God loves us, details and all. And you know what? It helps. Imagine that: It helps to call on my creator, the one who is always with me and understands me completely. It calms and encourages my soul to ask him to give my kids strong friendships or to help us find a plumber or to ask him to meet us in our sadness and realize he knows sadness well.

Because he is our shepherd, we shall not want (Psalm 23:1). Even when my wants hit a screaming pitch and seem they’ll never be met, one day, I shall not want. Even today, I shall not want for the things he knows I truly need. He gives me daily bread. May he give you and me pause to stop and eyes to see that daily bread, accept it as enough and even as bountiful provision, and break it with one another.

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
–Psalm 116:7

 

 

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2 Responses to Bountifully

  1. Diane says:

    Precious Kimberly, how I love you and your tender heart that He created in you before the beginning of time! My heart aches for you as you miss the beautiful familiar from the past. And yet as I remember our time in CA, I knew even in tears that He had brought us there. Many times I wondered and asked, but He was always so faithful to stay me in those times, and I admit that looking back gives me the knowing that I did not have then. He has begun a new and a good work in you and your sweet family. Hang on, I know He is pleased with your thankfulness in the journey, for oh yes, He is so faithful. Bless you sweet niece, you are such a joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danielle says:

    We have this verse written on a note card on the window sill above our kitchen sink. Thank you for the honesty in your “No. No, it doesn’t FEEL bountiful.” How quickly I depend on my feelings to tell me what is truth. I am grateful for your reminder to hold to THE truth of God’s goodness in all circumstances, to see and acknowledge his bounty while feeling the ache of our broken world. It is honey for my soul. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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