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I have always been a ponderer, as was my dad before me. Dad would spend much time thinking of things and planning things he might do. Since he was an avid fisherman, he often conjured ways to make his fishing more successful even though he was the best fisherman I ever knew. My dad often thought of ways to keep warm on those long winter days when fishing from a hole in the ice. Often he would catch enough fish to have a fish fry in the middle of the fiercest winter. I remember a little “ice hut” he constructed to keep the winter winds at bay and provide a warm place to sit while pulling fish from under the ice. With homemade lures, Dad intended to catch the eye of that crappie or surprise that passing catfish. He seemed to know their favorite color and shape and went about making just the right combination. 

For myself, even as a little girl, I would sit for hours pondering about many things, but the one thing I remember thinking about for an entire summer was having a grand parade. Of course, I was the grand leader of my colorful caravan, riding a beautiful Palomino with a jeweled bridle and saddle. I dreamed of my cowgirl outfit, also adorned with sequence and flash, not to mention colorful boots with spurs. Sometimes I would imagine unusual animals marching down the street wowing all who watched, like elephants and giraffes. My mind even thought of how I would get these creatures to walk happily in my imaginary parade. I was sure upon hearing, a zookeeper somewhere would volunteer to bring these animals to the event of the century. I could spend hours pondering these things. 

I am still a ponderer! But now, it is God’s voice that I strain to hear. To some, my ponderings seem nearly as far off as my elaborate plans for the parade. They may seem crazy or impossible, but I know the God who knew me in my mother’s womb and made plans for me even in my old age. So Jeremiah, though he thought himself too young instead of too old, sent a message to me this morning as I pondered my age and my work yet to do here on earth. 

The Lord said to me, I knew you before you were formed within your mother’s womb; before you were born, I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world. 

“Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a youth”; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.’ Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.'” (Jeremiah 1:6-10 ESV)

You need not worry about my pondering; it includes not one elephant, though it might seem slightly lofty for an old gal like me. But remembering that God touched my mouth with his words and said, your work begins, I go forward.

Someday, instead of an elaborate parade, I will have a grand entrance as the Bible describes in 2 Peter: “For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11 ESV)

Jeanie Nihiser
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31


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