Originally posted last October, I want to share it again today. It seems to me that scattered is a good description of our lives with our hectic schedules and sometimes overwhelming concerns.
As we journey through this life there will be moments when we find ourselves facing God. It will be through a word spoken, a friend made, a sermon delivered, a child born, a dire circumstance, an unexpected kindness, a scripture that was read, a crisis, a great joy or perhaps a tremendous pain. That moment is a spiritual encounter that will redirect our focus and as we adjust our gaze we will see things differently. We will then have to choose to walk in that new understanding or turn our face away and stubbornly trudge on as if it had never happened.
I had one of those moments this weekend and as a matter of fact, as if time has been suspended, I find myself still there. I heard a word and it grabbed my heart. The word was ‘scattered’ and I knew that this was to be one of those times when I must choose. I can choose to trudge wearily along the path that has seemed so difficult of late or I can turn my face a new direction and step onto a new path. It will require trust. While I sometimes struggle with trusting other people and even my own self, I do trust God. He has proven Himself faithful to me.
As seasons are changing in the physical world, I feel a reflection of that in my soul. I feel a reprieve from the scorching temperatures. I enjoy a brisk breeze that refreshes me. I revel in the promise of good things to come. I am comforted. I am revived.
This verse was the catalyst of my encounter, this moment where I stand facing God and making my choice.
“A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:5 NLT
Ecclesiastes chapter three is commonly known as the ‘time for everything’ chapter. The longer I live the more truth I recognize in it’s words. There truly is an opportune time for the moments of our lives. Here is what I have decided. It is when we have done things out of order and at the wrong time that we find ourselves feeling scattered. Or perhaps we were so busy gathering so many good things in our basket that it simply couldn’t contain it all and there what we so carefully gathered now lies scattered at our feet.
As I studied the word scattered in the Bible I came to Ezekiel chapter 34. I’ll be studying this chapter for many days to come as I linger in this moment allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me.
In this chapter God is speaking to the shepherds of His people. They have failed to properly care for the sheep and are about to lose their position as spiritual leaders due to their neglect.
“So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd, and they are easy prey for any wild animal.” Ezekiel 34:5
After He chastises those who have failed to minister properly He declares His intentions to correct the situation.
“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.”
Ezekiel 34:11-12 NLT
Have you been feeling scattered? Does your life seem to be without clear direction? Have you gotten so busy with so many good things that you find yourself a bit lost in the shuffle of it all? Have you wondered what you are suppose to do now?
I want to share what I believe The Lord is speaking to me and you can determine if it might be a Word in due season for you as well. The Lord has clearly led me to gather the stones that have been scattered. I will gather my thoughts and gather my family and gather my emotions and gather myself. I will choose to lessen my schedule and give myself permission to sit still and be ministered to. I will accept the tender care of the Shepherd and allow peace to fill my life even as I sleep. I will change directions and avoid the #peacethieves.
“I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD.”
Ezekiel 34:15 NLT