Feeding on Faithfulness

One of Aaron’s favorite things to do in all the world is to eat out at a restaurant.  The promise of eating out makes every doctor visit or dental procedure totally worth his time. 

Aaron might vary a little in what he will eat at the different restaurants that we visit, but always…if possible…he will order a side salad with “no croutons and two ranches.” 

And often he will order another of his favorites…French fries!

Not long ago, while he munched on his fries at lunch, he had an idea.

“Mom?” he asked, “can we make French fries?”

“I kind of made them last night in the air fryer,” I answered as I reminded him of the potato wedges that we had eaten.

“I didn’t see them that way,” he responded.

I smiled at Aaron’s response. 

He has, yet again, given me something to ponder.

A couple blogging friends mentioned Psalm 37 last week.  I decided to read slowly through that wonderful Psalm in the mornings after my regular Bible study.

Verse 3 jumped out at me.

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”

Guess what the word ‘cultivate’ means?  It means to ‘feed on.’

Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.

‘Dwell’ can also mean ‘rest.’

The land is wherever God has put me. 

So, I am to rest where God has put me and feed on faithfulness.

That sounds pleasant at first glance.  But what if the place God has put me is less than ideal? 

What if it’s just downright hard?

Fact is, God didn’t say that I am to be faithful when my pasture is lush and green…when my place in life is fun and easy and fulfilling.

He just said to dwell there in the pasture where He has placed me…stay…rest.

And while there, feed on faithfulness.

Here I am, approaching the age that I used to think was REALLY old, and I am still in a large sense raising a child.  This time of my life was what I used to hear being referred to as having the time of my life. 

Empty nest and all that.

Hasn’t quite worked out that way for us.

But I can’t deny the fact that God didn’t qualify the type of land He would ordain for me.  He just told me to rest there.

And to feed on faithfulness.

You see, we can all be faithful where we are.  The form it takes is what sometimes trips us up.

Caring for Aaron, in all the shapes that caring takes, is me feeding on faithfulness.

But many times, I’m like Aaron as he compared the air fryer potato wedges to French fries.

I don’t see it that way.

I don’t see managing Aaron’s medicines, doctor visits, tons of paperwork, or driving him everywhere as having a lot to do with my faithfulness to God.

I most definitely get tangled up in tiredness and complaining as I work to keep him fed, active, happy, encouraged, and clean.

Sadness at seizures and frustration during behaviors jerk my emotions in all directions.

And as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years, it sure is easy to lose the sense of living in faithfulness to God.

Seems like I often compare my grass to others, and usually theirs is so much greener than mine.

Their feeding on faithfulness seems exciting and fun.

Mine?  Pretty dull and daily.

And often dirty. 

But something I’m learning…ever so slowly…is to look up to God when I feel like looking over to someone else’s land.  Keep my focus on my Shepherd and on the land He has given to me.

To see every tiring moment as an opportunity to trust Him, to do good, to rest in this place, and to feed on faithfulness.

To remind myself, at the end of another tiring day, that God smiles on my faithfulness. 

“I didn’t see it that way, God,” I often think.

“Oh, but I did, my dear,” God whispers. 

And I rest.

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

31 thoughts on “Feeding on Faithfulness”

  1. Resting where God put us sounds like good advice for us all. Then there’s that faithfulness part. Sometimes it’s like eating the Brussel Sprouts when I was 9 (eat up they’re good for you!) Mom always said. Funny thing is I love them now!

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  2. Beautiful, heart-touching, honest, and inspiring, Patty! I’ve faced much less challenging circumstances than you and yet given in to self-pity, envy, and discontentment. Pressing on, may I learn to cultivate faithfulness moment by moment as a love-gift to my Heavenly Father, who’s given me so much. (How dare I ask for more?!)

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    1. God is teaching me so much about seeing the simple or tiring work I do as an act of faithfulness to Him. It’s how I can grow and how I can honor Him…an act of worship, actually. Our love-gift, as you so beautifully said. Thank you for your kind and wise words, Nancy. God’s blessings to you!

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  3. Hi Patty, This reminds me of the saying: Bloom where you are planted. It has been on my mind lately, especially as I grow older. I am trying to be more faithful, prayerful, do small things for others, and blossom. 😊💖🌺

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  4. Patty, the Lord so often uses Aaron and your posts to say exactly what I need to hear. “Seems like I often compare my grass to others, and usually theirs is so much greener than mine. Their feeding on faithfulness seems exciting and fun.” is the place where I seem to be standing this past few weeks. Thank you for the loving admonition to “look up to God when I feel like looking over to someone else’s land” and “feed on faithfulness.” I’m reminded of an autobiographical picture book I used to read to my girls when they were little called “Smudge, the Little Lost Lamb” by Dr. James Herriot, Veterinarian. You see Smudge got tired of “feeding on faithfulness” and believed the pasture on the other side was much more exciting. When he discovered a lamb sized hole in the stone wall, he decided to leave his twin sister and mother and try out the grass on the other side. It didn’t take long before he encountered an angry bull, a bus barreling down the road, and a barking dog to realize the world outside the pasture where the farmer had put him wasn’t where he wanted to be. He was a much happier and more content lamb when he was rescued and returned to the pasture to once again graze by his sister and mother’s side.

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    1. I love the lamb story, Beth. And thank you for letting me know that this encouraged you. That is always my prayer. I wrote you a reply awhile ago and it disappeared so I hope this one goes through. It’s so easy to see what I do in caring for Aaron as lots of things other than faithful service to God, especially on the hard days. So often I have to tell myself that every mundane job is actually my worship to God. Easier said than done many times. I’m so thankful that God is gracious. May God richly bless you, Beth.

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  5. I love the lamb story, Beth. And thank you for letting me know that this encouraged you. That is always my prayer. I wrote you a reply awhile ago and it disappeared so I hope this one goes through. It’s so easy to see what I do in caring for Aaron as lots of things other than faithful service to God, especially on the hard days. So often I have to tell myself that every mundane job is actually my worship to God. Easier said than done many times. I’m so thankful that God is gracious. May God richly bless you, Beth.

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  6. Thanks for so openly sharing your struggles, and the lessons you learn from them. Your posts encourage the rest of us to see our struggles as simply chances to feed our faith as well, and to remember that we can always rest in God. And that’s a gift to everyone!

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    1. Thank you, Ann. We all walk less-than-perfect paths, don’t we? May we all see that every “small” act of faithfulness – even cleaning toilets! – is so honoring to God as we live where He has put us. Blessings to you!

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  7. Such good transparent truth Patty..often times our struggles can be exactly what keeps us close to Him, so thankful He’s the strength when we feel weak.

    I always look forward to learning life lessons and inspiration through your words.

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  8. I love this, Patty. It is so true. I never expected to spend my later years single and alone, but here I am. Even though it’s been 17 years since my divorce, I’m still not used to it. I especially like this thought: “But something I’m learning…ever so slowly…is to look up to God when I feel like looking over to someone else’s land. Keep my focus on my Shepherd and on the land He has given to me.” I am reminded of Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Thank you for such deep insight, Cindy, born from deep pain. I love how God uses and blesses our faithfulness that is demonstrated in ways we never dreamed, and often simply and privately. Thank you for being faithful and for blessing so many as you walk your God-given path. ♥️♥️

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