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“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side” (Mark 4:35, NKJV).

“The grass is always greener on the other side.”

You know this statement.

Yet, just like “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, we’ve thrown the phrase out because it’s a myth. Right?

Maybe so. But then again, when the Apostle Paul refers to future things, he doesn’t say anything about ‘brown and prickly’ grass.

    Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (ESV).

Here I see a promise of heaven, and a glorious eternity with Jesus—“greener grass”—on the other side.

The concept can also work in reverse. Sometimes we’re so happy with our lives as they are, that we don’t stop to even imagine pastures greener than what we’re currently grazing in.  God holds brighter plans we don’t see.

Let me tell you a story:

I knew a thirteen year old pastor’s daughter, born and raised in the country. She ran through every minute of her open-air, bare-footed life without second thoughts.

Friends? She had those.

An amazing church family? She had that too.

Open opportunities to pursue what she loved? They were everywhere!

One day the phone rang. A call she’d been dreading since her dad’s preaching trip to the city. The words, “We voted. You got the majority,” rang clear through the line.

Words she begged God not to allow to ever be spoken. The man on the opposite line confirmed her dad’s call by God to pastor a church in the city—over 1,000 miles away.

A few months of packing and goodbyes, and they were off. She was on to a life in the dirty, crowded, unfamiliar city that she never would have imagined to be hers.

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As much as she thought she knew what she wanted, months living in tight spaces, finding new friends, and stretching beyond her comfort zone, was enough to prove that God alone knew what she needed. Made to live outside herself, she had to be taken miles from the things that distracted her from what she should have done all along.

The words that tumbled through her heart—“I refuse to fall in love”—vanished long ago. Because she did fall in love. In love with the people who took her in, the moment she walked through the church doors. Love with new opportunity and places opportunity takes her.

And she continues to fall deeper in love with the Shepherd who brought her here.

    “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3, ESV).

God never promised all pastures would be green. He promised to lead us to green pastures. He led this pastor’s daughter to pastures greener than before, though she had to go through some prickly bushes to get there. The grass on the other side truly was better. It always is when God’s children offer their obedience to Him.

He promised to restore our souls. But He can’t do that until we release control and allow them to be broken. Regardless, He never leaves when we break.

    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NKJV).

The grass you’re treading now may not be green, but the Shepherd is leading you to green pastures. Just sit tight! You’ll reach the other side. Trust Him. Trust His promises. Because “the sufferings of this time are nothing compared to the joy that’s coming.”

    His end result for you is always worth the pain He allows.