My husband and I went to the mountains for a weekend escape. We arrived at night so weren’t able to take in the view until the next morning.
Our room promised a scenic vista and I was eager to check it out in the daylight. Although the mountains loomed close, they were shrouded in clouds so not as picturesque as I had hoped.
The next morning I saw an entirely different view. The mountains were the same but sun shining on the clearly defined peaks made them magnificent.
I took pictures at the same time each morning and they tell the story of the difference a day can make.
There are times in my life when the picture in front of me isn’t what I had hoped for. The days are gloomy and the future is anything but clear. It would be so easy to give in to despair.
Instead, I need to keep moving forward. My steps might not be as quick and lively as they once were but I can’t let that stop me.
I take comfort in a well-known Bible verse which says God will be with me as I walk through the dark valley. He doesn’t abandon me there. He is beside me every step of the way and will lead me to the bright sunshine once again. It may not be today or even tomorrow. All I need is the faith that a new day can make all the difference.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
My husband and I have just returned from a mini-vacation. We travelled a little over an hour from home and spent three nights in the mountains.
In such a short distance and time frame we enjoyed a complete change of pace. No goals or expectations were set ahead of time. This proved to be key to our experience.
Jagged mountain peaks were visible from our room. We appreciated some time outdoors in the crisp mountain air, but had no desire to fill every moment with activity. Instead, we spent quiet hours relaxing in the spacious lobby area where a large rustic fireplace dominated one wall.
Any other time we would have felt guilty for not being outside exploring. On these days we relished the time to rest and recharge. This is something we would not have been able to accomplish at home where many tasks constantly call out for our attention.
There are always things we can be doing, but how often do we give ourselves permission to just be still?
Rest is a biblical concept. Jesus took time from his hectic life to withdraw to a quiet place for prayer. This was a necessity for him. After spending quiet time with God, he was better prepared to face the busy and trying days to come.
When I do the same, I am allowing the Lord to breathe new energy and focus into my life, preparing me for what lies ahead.
The news about Jesus spread even more. Large crowds gathered to hear him and have their diseases cured. But he would go away to places where he could be alone for prayer. (Luke 5:15-16 GST)
On a recent trip through the mountains, we were slowed down several times for road construction. In one area we came to a complete stop.
Lines of vehicles snaked in both directions and no one was getting through. Up ahead and around a bend, huge clouds of dust billowed into the sky. This was no ordinary roadwork.
Once traffic resumed we were able to see the cause of the delay. Boulders scattered along one lane of the road were being loaded into massive dump trucks.
The area we were driving through is known for rockslides. Blasting had been done to remove loose rock and reduce hazards for motorists.
Our delay may have been an inconvenience to us, but it was caused in order to keep us safe. For that, I was grateful.
I thought of the times I’ve been racing along to reach a destination and have come to a sudden stop. My self-imposed timeline could no longer be met. Not able to see what was ahead, I was frustrated and wondered what had caused this road block.
Looking back, I’ve been able to see I’d been heading into a potentially harmful situation. The Lord stopped me in my tracks to keep me safe. While I was impatiently waiting to move forward, he was blasting away the danger ahead. I’m sure truckloads of problems have been taken away and dumped where I need never concern myself with them again.
The next time my plans come to an unexpected halt, I need to remember the rockslide prevention and stop to thank the Lord for keeping me from harm.
The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121:7-8 NLT)
A few days into our mountain getaway I realized the view from our window was different every morning.
The first day dawned bright and clear. Sunshine accented the rugged outline of the Rocky Mountains, inviting us out to explore.
The following morning it was overcast and low cloud obscured our view of the majestic peaks. The drizzle and dreariness lasted throughout the day.
Day three I woke to see the brightness of the sun filtering through the blinds. When I opened them I was greeted by the beauty of fresh snow on the mountain tops. I knew that this beauty was a direct result of the previous day’s weather.
As I thanked God for the scene before me, I felt a nudge in my spirit telling me to apply this to my life.
Not every day can bring the sunshine. I have often felt despair in the dark, gloomy days of life. Hopes and plans seem to either be shattered or put on hold. A longing for the brightness of new promise is palpable.
What I don’t always remember is that God is working behind those clouds of doubt and confusion. Instead of resisting and fighting through with my own plans, I am forced to slow down and surrender to God. That is when he does incredible work in my life. It may not be anything I can see at the time, but when the veil is lifted there is a beauty and purpose in my life that wasn’t there previously. I thank him for the sunshine and the clouds.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV)
A few days in the mountains were just the break my husband and I needed. It was evening when we arrived which made the view in the morning all the more spectacular.
The sun was shining and the temperature mild as we headed outside to explore. We stopped at one directional sign and decided this wasn’t the path we wanted to take. The next sign showed a small lake only one kilometer away. Enthusiastically I said, “Let’s take this one!”
What we discovered was a hidden jewel. The water was crystal clear and smooth as glass. The jagged peaks on the Rocky Mountains were reflected back to us in the water. Golden yellow leaves of a tree in its autumn splendor were also shown in this mirror image. The beauty and peacefulness of the scene before me reached to my very soul.
Quarry Lake had once been the site of a coal mine. The land had been reclaimed and was now a spot for swimming, fishing and picnicking. Once an eyesore, this was now an area of much value to local residents and visitors alike.
As I sat on a bench enjoying the reflection on the lake, another kind of reflection was forming in my mind. My life had also been reclaimed. The day I asked Jesus into my heart the process began. I confessed the dark, ugly stains of unforgiveness and selfishness and they have been washed clean by the sacrificial love of Christ.
He’s not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress. The refining will not be complete until my life is a true reflection of Jesus.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:5 NLT)
But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 NLT)
Sitting in the hospital parking lot, I thanked God for the peace that I felt on this morning. What could have been a stressful day, instead felt calm and filled with promise.
The sun was rising as I drove out of the city. Heading west to visit a friend, I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw vibrant shades of pink, purple and orange lighting up the eastern skyline. Another prayer of thanks was spoken. It wasn’t long before the mountains in front of me were glowing as the morning sun reflected off of the snow-capped peaks.
I was tempted to pull over and take a picture, but knew that the beauty I was experiencing was to be captured in my memory alone. It was as if God was embracing me as he surrounded me with the glory of his creation. I knew in that moment that I had nothing to be concerned about. Not only did he have everything under control, he also gave a visual gift to show me how much he cares. My prayers were no longer spoken, now I was singing his praise.
I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 (NIV)
Bee inspired today!