Monday, May 3

The Preacher's Meadow

Years ago, in horse-and-buggy days, a poor circuit preacher made his weekly rounds to one of his favorite little churches. As he could not afford a horse, he walked several miles to the little, white church in the vale.

On his way through the fertile valley that led to the church, he stopped at his favorite meadow to savor the change of scenery that each season displayed.

He enjoyed spring as it burst forth with bluebells, daffodils, Queen Anne’s lace, and other wildflowers that filled the meadow and the beauty of the trees in fall as they boasted of their vibrant reds and golds.

He loved listening to the bubbling stream that ran through the field. He laughed when winter’s snow and ice decked out the trees and shrubs, making them look like some of the icy parishioners in his church.

On each journey to the church, he paused to meditate. Leaning on the old fence that surrounded the meadow, he praised the Lord for the beauty of His creation, for the privilege of serving Him, and for all the wonderful parishioners that packed the little church, always asking for the miracle of a bigger building that would someday hold many others.

One beautiful spring day, he noticed a sign on the property…FOR SALE! He didn’t have long to be curious if someone would buy the property for the next week, a new sign appeared…SOLD!

What will become of my lovely meadow, he thought.

Soon construction began on the site. Disappointment did not begin to cover how he felt. Each week as he walked by, he could see all the progress that had taken place. Trees knocked down; flowers gone. The ground disturbed.

A rumbling started in his spirit. Each week, he grew more annoyed. Mumbling and complaining chipped away at his praise until cynicism threw a dark shadow across his soul. His joy disappeared and he blamed God and even questioned his calling as a preacher.

By the time he reached the little church each week, his spirit reacted so negatively that his sermons suffered and the people noticed the difference.

One Sunday as he walked to church, he became so angry at God for taking away his beautiful praise field and his great joy that he kicked at the fence and broke his foot. Luckily, a parishioner came by in his buggy and took the preacher to the doctor.

He stayed off his foot for several months until it finally healed. The next spring when he was able to resume preaching, the parishioner came to pick him up for Sunday services. When the parishioner arrived, he told the preacher he must do something.

“What is it?” asked the preacher.

“You must wear this blindfold,” said the man.

“What in the world for?”

“You’ll see,” the man answered.

“Humph! How can I see if I’m blindfolded!”

“Don’t worry, preacher. You’ll love it when you see it. I promise!”

The preacher just grumbled something else under his breath.

When they finally arrived at their destination, the man removed the blindfold from the preacher’s eyes. As he did, the preacher heard, “Surprise!”

“Wha-a-t? What is this?” He glanced around and saw his entire congregation surrounding him.

“This,” said the man, “is your new church building.”

There, in the middle of his favorite meadow, stood the most beautiful church building he had ever seen. The meadow once again displayed its fragrant wildflowers and the trees in full blossom welcomed him back.

“I…I don’t understand,” said the puzzled preacher.

The man said, “We received a large endowment from an anonymous donor to build you a new church building. Knowing it’s been your heart’s desire and since you broke your foot and couldn’t see what was going on, we thought we’d surprise you.”

As his eyes filled with tears, the preacher fell to his knees, sobbing, “Oh, Lord, forgive me. I blamed You for taking away the very thing that gave me such joy, my beautiful meadow. I lost my praise and even questioned my calling. I had no idea You had planned something even more beautiful than I could have imagined. My cup of joy is now refilled and running over. Praise You, Lord!”

Has joy left your heart? Whether through some trial or heartache? Or maybe something has been taken from you? Has your beautiful meadow of joy and praise been destroyed?

Have you lashed out at God? Have you questioned His dealings in your life? Have you grumbled and complained, questioning your calling?

The Lord has a replacement joy in store for you. Will you thank Him in anticipation of its arrival and for His love and care for you? Will you praise Him again in your beautiful, new meadow of joy?

This post is part of the One Word Blog Carnival listed on Bridget Chumbley’s site.

25 Responses
  1. Oh, Lynn, that is so beautiful! So many things happen in life that can dampen our joy, but the Lord has something beautiful in store for us and deserves our joyful praise always.

  2. lynnmosher Says:

    Aw, thanks, Connie! You are always so sweet and generous. You make my heart happy! Blessings to you!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Such a beautiful story. The picture is incredible as well. Thanks for sharing it with us, Lynn.

  4. Joyce Says:

    What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing this today!

  5. What a nice story. Thank you ... :-)

  6. ~*Michelle*~ Says:

    Oh WOW! I love this story!

    Such TRUTH many times in my life did I view that "construction/demolition" zone with such negativity and disappointment.....only to find out that God was renovating me!

    Thank you for this great post. :)

  7. David @ RLB Says:

    There is a wonderful sway to your words...i was drawn in by the imagery and flow of what you wrote. And the message was powerful.


  8. LORD, thank You for this and thank You for using Lynn to share it with us. Praise YOU Father God, in Jesus' name, amen.

  9. Hi, Lynn;

    You always know how to reach my heart. Today was no exception.

    Thank you.

  10. Glynn Says:

    You've told a good story here. So much of what we think of as "bad" is actually going to become a blessing.

  11. Great visuals Lynn, I felt like I was right there walking with the Preacher in God's beautiful meadow. I loved reading your post for many reasons...a sweet reminder of slowing down in our busy lives and enjoying His creation.

    Love, JoAnne

  12. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Ah, that's a lovely uplifting story. Thanks.

  13. Kind of funny that he had a temper tantrum and broke his foot. Wouldn't have been such a lovely surprise in the end.

    Great story, Lynn.

  14. Sally Says:

    I was thinking the preacher would write the song "Church in the Wildwood". "Come to the church by the wildwood / Oh, come to the church in the vale / No spot is so dear to my childhood / As the little brown church in the vale ..."

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Hindsight is always 20/20! How many times I have looked back on the most difficult times in my life and realized there was no other way! Praise God for His patience with us.

  16. Tricia Says:

    Such a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it with us. :)

  17. lynnmosher Says:

    Bridget, Thank you so much for stopping by. I love that photo, too. Makes you wish you were standing there, taking it all in, doesn't it? Thanks for doing the One Word. Blessings to you!

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Each of you is so kind and generous with your comments. Thank you so much. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to stop by. You have blessed my heart. May the Lord bless each one of you!

  19. caryjo Says:

    Something I have to nearly constantly remind myself when the tough stuff hits and life feels overwhelmingly sad is that I have no way of knowing what joy is on the horizon. Keeping my heart in the right direction -- to my Heavenly Father -- is the only hope I have. Thanks for the story.

  20. caryjo Says:

    Oh, one more thing...

    the photo looks so much like a pond at the entrance to Pt. Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA, one of my favorite places, I was stunned. Amazing how we can cover so much territory in our lives and the little reminders of "joy" will pop up suddenly from an obscure or unknown source.

    Loved it.

  21. lynnmosher Says:

    Caryjo, Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. That photo could have been taken in Tacoma. I have no idea where I got it or where it was taken. If this is near you, no wonder it's a favorite spot. It's beautiful! Blessings to you!

  22. BiMbyLaDs** Says:

    always led to read your posts... as always, wonderful. loved it. thanks for this

  23. L.L. Barkat Says:

    Sighs. I don't think I ever really have the vision I need. But then, maybe that's okay. I live, I learn.

  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Bimby, I am so honored that you visit. Thank you so much for commenting. Makes my heart happy! Blessings to you!

  25. lynnmosher Says:

    L.L., What a great honor to have you stop by! Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I deeply appreciate it. You bless me! Blessings to you!