What Happens in the Crags

It never ceases to amaze me that saplings can flourish in the most unlikely places.  Much of the high desert region of Wyoming seems barren, with rocky crags and cliffs and scrubby sage brush…yet, a seed can be dropped and flourish even here.

My writing is much like that seed.  It seems to flourish in the rocky places, in the “dry and thirsty land where no water is.” When my spiritual self is fumbling to get a grip, when my emotional self is in shreds, when my physical prowess has lost its “prow”…that is most likely when I write.  I am learning in these times to sit down at my school desk, to submit to the weakness, and to ask what I can learn.

Today is a migraine day.  I still stand amazed that, during all the travel and busyness and demands of our Alaska trip, I only dealt with a headache on one day, and it was easily managed.  I revel in that.  I had been praying for weeks about it.  Others had as well.  God, on that occasion, graciously removed the obstacle that has become the norm.

So, is He not gracious when the pain knocks me down?  Oh yes, He is.  This had become at least a bi-monthly thing for me.  In recent months, it has become more infrequent.  And in this weakness, when it comes, He is teaching…because I am now wanting to, looking to learn.  I used to view this as “giving in” to the pain, but now I am realizing it is more submission than spinelessness.  There needs to be more determination than desperation.

On this go-round, I was able to make it through several loads of laundry, and keeping meals going.  I was able to be present in the house all day yesterday, even if I was not as interactive perhaps as normal.  I was able to keep my sense of humor somewhat, which scripture tells me does good like a medicine.  Many do not realize that when you may seem to be languishing on the outside, there can be rigorous work being done inside.  When there is tightening of muscle, there can also be relaxing of the will.  To learn to deny self and serve…to keep patience and squelch agitation when the sounds of a happy child or the buzzing of an electric shaver are rubbing nerves raw…to allow the overstimulation that so often pushes me to withdraw into the silent inner sanctum of a dark bedroom to permit the digging up of that sparse handful of fertile soil in the rock’s crevice, to cultivate it with grace, to cause me to long for and look to Heaven for more rain, to wait for fruit with patience.

I want to grow.  I want my roots to dig into that rock and grab it tenaciously. I want to wring every nutrient out of this experience and be stronger.  I want it to be evident that is not my determination but rather the Rock I am clinging to that has made all the difference.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” ~Psalm 40

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