By Patti Johnson

Patti has been volunteering with Care for Pastors with The Confidante for Pastors’ Wives for 7 years after she and her husband received counsel from Care for Pastors as a way to give back to the ministry. She joined the Care for Pastors staff in January 2020. Patti is one of the administrators of The Confidante Private Facebook group for pastors' wives and is a regular contributor to weekly blogs. She loves to use her gifts and abilities to support the needs of the ministry. Patti has been married to her Pastor husband Keith for 36 years. They have 3 adult children who all to their delight live in Florida.

    Pleasant Place: A Gift Portion from God

    Monday, October 16, 2023

    I wrote this blog (see below) just as we were finishing up our epic year of 2020 and all the things that a year living in a COVID world presented to us. Here we are now at the end of 2023, and we are still living with some of the consequences of isolation, peer pressures, confusing messages from all areas of authority and still trying to make sense in our churches and ministries of all of it.

    As I revisit that year of 2020 and blend it with the years that have lapsed and bring my thoughts to today, I am still comforted that our Father in Heaven is watching over us. He is daily preparing safe places for my feet to fall. He is giving me wise counsel as to boundaries and guidelines.

    I see people with “walking sticks,” an updated description of a cane, and I think how much safer they are on uneven ground and up and down levels of pavement. Balance and protection from the uneven path they walk. I like to think of my Heavenly Father providing that steadiness to my day as I walk along the path laid out for me.

    As we begin to wind down another year, and head into another, I am so grateful for the unchanging nature and character of God who makes those decisions about where my feet will walk each day and provides pleasant places and safe boundaries for me to journey through.

    Pleasant Places (originally written in 2020)

    I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just gain great satisfaction when someone makes a decision for me that benefits me and lightens my load for the moment and in the future, one that gives me hope and security for the future and just a restful, peaceful feeling of being loved.

    Psalm 16:5-8 does that for me. I can go to this portion of scripture in the most harried state and just feel myself breathe easier, my heart rest and my outlook on anything that is concerning me change.

    Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
    The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
    I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
    I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

    As we finish up this year, this epic year called 2020, and we prepare to step into 2021, perhaps this would be a good scripture to light our way, to guide our thoughts, to settle our minds and comfort our hearts. Much of life is unknown, but God has given us “boundary lines that fall in pleasant places” for me. That means He has measured out where my footsteps will land, what things I will experience, challenges and all. He is with me as I lie down at night and He instructs me even in sleep. He is enough, my gift portion. He is my rock, my steady presence, my walking stick. I will not slip, fall or break under His care.

    For me, and I would guess for you too, we need that gift portion now more than ever. We need to know someone is watching out for us and making choices that will give us hope and a future that is secure.

    As walk into the new year, the one we call 2021, let us walk boldly into those pleasant places with boundaries that have been prepared by the loving hands of God.

    For you. For me. For us.

    Consider scripture writing and write out this passage multiple times. Meditate on the words, the thoughts, the comfort, the care. This is a practical way of scripture memory, and getting God’s Truths into the center of our being.

    Let’s walk into 2021 prepared with a gift portion of God’s love.

    Now, let’s prepare to walk into 2024 with a gift portion of God’s love.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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