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Posted by on Jan 14, 2019 in vocation | 0 comments

In the Fields of the Lord

In the Fields of the Lord

 

This last weekend for me was difficult. And it was difficult for me, because of me.

We had friends over, neighbors over, and church members over to our house on Saturday and Sunday. Our home was filled with the noise of laughter, but it was also filled with the tears of children…and adults. My wife and I are wrestling with educational choices for our daughters, trying to discern what’s best for them and what God is calling us to. And our dearest third born continually both delights us and baffles us. Her emotional swings – from joy to incapacitated sadness – weigh heavy on our hearts.

I went to bed last night utterly exhausted from the weekend. As a 5 on the enneagram (“the investigator”) I’ve come to learn about myself that whereas most people start the day with an emotional tank 100% full, my “full” each day is about 20%. I’m at once overwhelmed by gratitude for all God has given me…and just overwhelmed. Holding my own emotions together on a day-to-day basis is an enormous task.

This morning I woke up and headed to the work, anxious to recover from the weekend. I listened to a CD that I have loved since it was released two years ago, “Work Songs: Porter’s Gate.” For an anxious heart, “In the Fields of the Lord” whispered to me a deep peace.

 

In the fields of the Lord our work is rest

He is moving in our hands and feet to bless

In the fields of the Lord, in the fields of the Lord

In the fields of the Lord, our work is rest

 

In the vineyards of the Lord our work is light

He is tending every leaf and every vine

In the vineyards of the Lord, in the vineyards of the Lord

In the vineyards of the Lord our work is light

 

In the garden of the Lord our work is sound

He is weaving every thorn into a crown

In the garden of the Lord, in the garden of the Lord

In the garden of the Lord, our work is sound

 

At the harvest of the Lord the fields are white

He will wipe away the tear from every eye

At the harvest of the Lord, at the harvest of the Lord

At the harvest of the Lord the fields are white

 

This song reminds me that God can use even my clumsy attempts at parenthood or serving a nonprofit organization to bless others.

It reminds me that the results are not all up to me, whether raising children or fundraising, because God is first “tending every leaf and every vine.” It is, after all, his vineyard, not my own.

It reminds me that the pain I experience – whether the deep doubts I have about being a father, or internal chaos I feel in an extroverted world – that God is willing to take the thorns of sin and place them on his own head, and give me a place in his kingdom.

And it reminds me the day is coming when God will soon wipe away the tears from every eye.

It is a strange and new place for me to realize that all of the great challenges of my life are inside me. To submit decisions to Christ, rather than to grasp for control. To be patient with my kids, rather than frustrated at the frailties they show – which I even see in myself. To be present to the people in my life, when realizing the utter necessity to set boundaries in order to live an emotionally healthy life. To seek love, joy, peace, patience ,kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control, yet to realize these virtues cannot be taken. They must be given.

For such a journey, I need others. I need songs like this. And I need to finally let go of my own grasping attempts to control my environment. The fields are the Lord’s.

 

If you’d like to learn to play “In the Fields of the Lord” on either guitar or piano, here’s the song book, kindly shared by Isaac Wardell at Porter’s Gate, and open for public use.

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