pleasant places

When I was 14 or 15, or maybe 16 (what a blur), Andrew Eastmond recorded an album that was on repeat for an entire summer, and made a regular reappearance for many years after. Beautiful songs that were more than just songs — lines of scripture that did exactly what the Word is meant to do: bring life. I’m laughing at the memory of extension cords strung together so that we could listen to music while weeding gardens or painting front porches. Clumsy technology, but it worked, and so did that Living Word. It divided, like a sword, my emotions and motives. It lit up shadows, exposing garbage and imparting the grace to toss it out. It renewed my mind, washing away false ideas and leaving behind the strength of truth. And it became Rock I stand on, am defined by, decades later.

And all to beautiful melodies that I’ll never forget. Music is such a powerful way to memorize scripture.

The one that stands out, that has hemmed me in so beautifully through so many moments of my life, is from Psalm 16.

“O Lord You are — you’re my portion and my life
You’re my inheritance and cup.
You maintain my lot,
And the lines have fallen to me
In pleasant places, oh my God.”

When I was 14, 15, 16 — the oldest daughter of 8 (at the time), called upon to serve every day. A young disciple making decisions to follow Jesus, regardless of what others chose to do.

When I was 18 and trying to discern which way to go, which path to follow.

When I was single, in my 20s, following a step at a time on a unique journey.

When I was in labor with my first baby, trusting that life is a gift from the Lord and He would walk with me through every step of this endeavor.

When seasons of pressure and difficulty came, and it was tempting to wish for their lot rather than mine.

Over and over, when things went differently than I’d imagined or anticipated, instead of wondering why, there was this bedrock in my soul: “You maintain my lot, and the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” And not only is He governing the days of my life, creating something unique and beautiful through my surrender to Him, but — how wondrous is this! — He is my portion!!

God Himself. My portion. My life.

And now I am raising another generation, lives formed and created by God, just as I believe mine to be. Called to love Him and serve Him, whatever path that may lead them on. But not just someday — now. I can look at each of them and confidently say, “The lines that have fallen to you today are good, and Jesus is here to be found.”

Oh Jesus, You are and always will be enough.
“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”



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