Tuesday, July 15, 2014

He Withholds No Good Thing From Us...

I wish I could explain to you, through the little pages of this place, just how beautiful rural Kansas is.  I love it. We love it. Slow drives along country roads, nothing to interrupt the peaceful view of the afternoon sun reflected off the dome of a silo standing solitary beside a barn whose peak is the perfect place for the owl to scope out his prey...

Farmhouses, old and new, full of a devotion that nourishes the working hands with family recipes passed down from generations past, a house that is more than a place to put up the weary feet after a long days work. Houses that are homes.

These are the sights that make my heart sing.
Amber waves of grain!
Canola - Isn't it lovely?
My boys are the first to notice fresh tassels topping endless rows of corn, the baby green sprouts of wheat waking up and breaking through the winter chill. They are happy to study the variety of crops as each grows steady through the seasons, changing color and shape, fulfilling their natural course of life until harvest time.

We talk about it all, again and again, a conversation that never seems to get old.
  Brothers!! Working and playing (and teasing each other) side by side since they were babes!
Then, harvest time, oh my.  Combines, tractors, swathers, balers, grain trucks - they know every make, every model and the conversations that flow from the scoping out of just one piece of equipment can last for miles and miles.  This is their time to teach, my time to listen and learn.

With the sight of every farmstead that rolls past us as we forge ahead to our destination comes the ache that presses hard an my heart, the ache to be "that place" out there, the one that perhaps others drive by and say, "Hey, look at that farm! I wonder who lives there?" The place where I stand on the porch and watch my sons in their faded wranglers and crooked caps journey out to meet all that the day holds for them.

But, the porch is not mine, not ours, not yet.

We wait.

Waiting.  The stubborn word that won't leave me alone.

So many of us are waiting, aren't we?

Waiting for a loved one to be healed, for a spouse to come home from being deployed overseas, waiting to bring a child home from the hospital, waiting to have a child of your own, waiting to find a job, a home.....waiting on the Lord.

And, in the moments of waiting don't you wonder why in the world we long for certain things so deeply? There are days when I try to wish the longing away, wish I could loosen the grip dreams have on my heart, wish I could free my mind from wondering when the dreams will be realized. Dreams we've prayed about for 14 years. Dreams to own our own dirt, to build a house on that dirt and to watch 12 feet and 30 toes make a maze of endless paths that all lead back to the front porch where I sit and savor it all.
These are the all too familiar thoughts running through my mind last week as we cruised the countryside, boys' noses pressed to window panes in search of Dad who was waiting on us to deliver lunch to a field where he was working for another farmer.

Custom work, work for others, that's what you do when you're waiting for a field of your own.
Just a couple of miles away, I try to get a grip on my feelings, try to let the intellect take charge of the will.  Will to be grateful, will to be positive, will to see what we have and not what we want to have - what we're waiting to have, will to laugh, will to hand over the sandwich with a hug and a look that says, "I love you....we can do this."

Just then, words form the song "Open My Hands" by Sara Groves pops into my head:
He withholds no good thing from us.
No good thing from us. No good thing from us.

I repeat the words over and over in my head: He withholds no good thing from us....

And, I realize that there's more good things to be had than those that we have our hearts and minds set upon, those "big" things that we're waiting for. There's good right here, right now, in the smallest parts of the most ordinary day.  And, those are the things we have to hold onto in the waiting, those are the little sparks of life that must be fanned so that the fires of our faith and our hope are not extinguished by impatience or a lack of trust while we wait.
There's beauty in those sparks.  Little as they may be.  Yes, beauty.

And joy.

And purpose.

And, if we find within the waiting the truth that our longings were never meant to be realized, then we can be content in knowing that we lived fully the life that was given to us.
There's a radio in that tractor, and Daddy discovers that Charlie loves the song Benny and the Jets by Elton John.  This is the two of them delivering their best version to me in the car while I hold Joseph. Charlie sings grinning, over and over, B-b-b-Benny!!
He withholds no good thing from us.

I believe in a blessing I don't understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing, no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands will open my heart
I will open my hands will open my heart
I will show up and play the smallest part
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I've thirsted and didn't have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us


No good thing from us
No good thing from us 
He withholds no good thing from us 


  1. I needed to read the lyrics to this song today. Thank you.

  2. Love this post Susan. It is all in God's timing. There are things that I have longed for, some I am seeing the completion of, others I hold in my heart and prayers, hoping for future fulfillment. And still others, I have learned to let go of . . . knowing that it just is not in God's plans in the close future, or at all.

  3. Beautiful and much needed. We're waiting to find our home right now with another baby on the way. Trusting is so hard, so thank you :)

  4. Your post reminds me of this quote: Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. That’s the secret. The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is The Moment. -Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Such a beautiful post your shared. Thank you!

  5. What a beautiful reminder! It's so easy to get caught up in the hopes for the future, which blind us to the beauty of the now. God is so good to us, all the time, in every way.

  6. What handsome sons. Your pictures of the surrounding landscape are all lovely. How I wish I could be adventurous out there today!

  7. Kansas sure does look beautiful, although not as beautiful as your family! Seasons of waiting are extremely difficult. The unknown can be so challenging-- wondering when or what-- sometimes questioning if you are on the right path. If you keep praying and following though, the path will unfold, and as you said, there is beauty in the journey. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us.

  8. I love Sara Groves - her songs always remind me of when my boys were little!!! I know that one day you will have the perfect patch of land for your family to live on and grow on!!!


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