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Crosswalk the Devotional - Jan. 8, 2010


January 8, 2010

Living in 300 Square Feet
by Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

psalm 23:2

It's a new year, and it's almost time for the new Ikea catalog to hit the mailbox.  I couldn't be more excited.

Not only am I a fan of browsing through its offerings, but I thoroughly enjoy walking through the different departments of the local Ikea store—or the "First Church of Ikea" as I affectionately and jokingly call it.

I marvel at how they can cram so much stuff into such small spaces and at such low, low prices.  The Swedes are genius!  And the Swedish meatballs aren't too shabby either (be sure to check out the in-store cafeteria—it's cheap and surprisingly tasty).

Probably my favorite area of the store is where there are different "living" displays that have been set up.  As in, "Living in 300 Square Feet" and so forth.  It's usually a bedroom, a living room, a kitchenette and a tiny, blink-and-you'll-miss-it bathroom all in one, with Ikea's products making the space seem like a cozy home.  But you also can't help but wonder how someone could live like this (college students, big-city apartment dwellers, and perhaps people in pods somewhere).  It brings out the claustrophobic in me and makes me want to bolt for wide, open spaces and just, well, more freedom. 

It makes me think of how I could view the Christian life right about now and about psalm 23.  (Yes, Ikea and Psalm 23 somehow miraculously coincide in my world, where all things—and for the purposes of this devotional—work together for good.)

Truth be told, life feels small right now.  I've already checked out this corner and that.  I'm tired of being in this room and in that one over there.  And now I'm ready to break out and experience something new.  But I also know that God is asking me to be content "living in 300 square feet."  He's not leading me anywhere, and he's clearly showing me that he wants me to stay put and wait on his timing.

In my study of Psalm 23 this week, I'm reading from Elizabeth George's quiet confidence for a woman's heart where she takes the reader through a study of how we as sheep relate to the Great Shepherd. 

Here's what she has to say about "restless and discontent sheep" …

These sheep jump into other fields or climb into bushes and onto leaning trees.  They sometimes fall and break their legs.  They're nervous and dissatisfied and cause the shepherd endless trouble.  Are you settled—at home with and abiding in the Shepherd?  Are you one who trusts … and rests … in the Lord?  Is the Lord all you need?  Are you content to be nothing more than his sheep and delight in what he gives you?

Much like sheep, perhaps the Great Shepherd keeps us in what feels like a more confined setting for our own protection.  To keep us away from that which will entangle and snare.  To prevent us from wandering off.  To shield us from harmful people or situations.  To offer us rest for our souls.  It's definitely something to think about.

Today, as a restless sheep, I am praying that He will settle my heart.  May He help me to abide in Him as I open my life, redirect my desires and priorities and make my heart a home for Him.

Intersecting Faith & Life:  You might feel like the walls are closing in on you today.  How can you ever learn to be content in such circumstances?  Look up, my friend.  Look to your Shepherd.  He is there to comfort, to provide, to love and to guide.  Remind yourself of these things with Psalm 23.

Further Reading:

"my heart, your home"
Words & Music:  Watermark

Come and make my heart Your home
Come and be everything I am and all I know
Search me through and through
‘Till my heart becomes a home for You

A home for You, Lord
A home for You, Lord
Let everything I do open up
A door for You to come through
And that my heart would be a place
Where You want to be …

You are my portion, filling up everything
You are the fortune, that's causing my heart to sing
That it's amazing …
That You could make Yourself at home with me

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