The Northeast is vibrant with copper, gold, and scarlet sun-soaked colors glistening against a sapphire sky.
On the horizon, winter is the next act to follow. But let it suffice for now that God will leave us with a prelude of splendor before the bitter cold sets in.
While walking this morning on a country road, I soaked in the restful scenery. Falling leaves whispered as they floated to the ground. Is it sorrowful? These dying leaves? No. They play their part of creating rich soil for the trees they fell from.
A cricket chirps its gladness in the warm sun. A woodpecker chips away for his meal. The crunch of branches told me a deer was keeping a safe distance. And then a chipmunk stops and looks at me since I interrupted his busy schedule of winter preparation.
The earth is a symphony if you are listening. It is a story that unfolds if you’re looking.
Are you at peace? Why not? The earth is.
Even with all the atrocities, heartache, and pain, there is beauty and rest to be found. And when you find it, it becomes part of you until you find that peace within yourself, even when you cannot see clearly.
The dying leaves are not complaining.
The insects and birds and animals are content.
God provides for them.
And God provides for us, too.
All is well.
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He [Jesus] was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
Most of the tundra is located north of the Arctic Circle – in the Frigid Zone – the coldest regions of the earth.
As winter approaches, the nights grow longer and colder as snow and ice cover the earth. The ground freezes solid.
Desolate. Barren. Empty.
Pain is like that.
Who knew this far removed region of the earth would dance with color? About 400 wildflower species announces to the world that desolation is only temporary.
The existence of pain does not mean God isn’t real. We accept winter and spring. One does not negate the other.
The arrival of spring brings comfort and tells us that God is with us.
Read nature! It helps explain life.
Photo credits: Rich Reid and Norbert Rosing
Throughout the summer, I watched them grow.
Their flowers appeared just last week.
Or are they – just in time?
It’s quite amazing to think about flowers blooming in September, unhindered by the heavy frost 2 days ago.
And then the wind came.
Strong and fierce.
But they stood tall and unwavering.
How about you?
Will you be patient and wait for your time?
Will you stand tall and unwavering through the fierceness that life has brought upon you?
You have it in you.
If a flower can withstand the elements, you can, too.
And God’s timing is always perfect.
But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles …
Photo credit: vastateparksstaff / Foter / CC BY
Some of us trudge through life with our half-empty glasses and believe we’re going to lose what we have.
Some of us just maneuver around the obstacles trying to keep our half-full glasses from spilling over.
The latter is more fun.
It’s not the kind of positive thinking that requires I-think-I-can-I-think-I can.
It’s choosing to be optimistic and hopeful.
Remember. Tomorrow’s another day!
Photo credit: dibnv / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
C. S. Lewis; A Grief Observed
Sometimes it feels like God is playing some kind of sick game with us.
Or we think he is testing us.
Or punishing us.
All of the above are normal feelings.
But the Bible says God’s ways are not like ours; his thoughts are not like ours.
That’s difficult for us. We only see in 3 dimensions.
God is not confined. That’s where faith comes in. You either trust and believe or you do not.
He teaches us about ourselves and how much we need Him, and beneath us are his everlasting arms.
Even in death, which seems like the absolute end, He is there.
Photo credit: Doha Sam / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Photo credit: giev / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
survive: continue to live or exist; especially in spite of danger or hardship.
After the attack on 9-11, a severely damaged tree was found under the rubble.
Replanted to another location, it was nurtured to health, and brought back to the World Trade Center Memorial.
A symbol of hope.
To all the families who have lost family and friends in the 9-11 attack, may you feel God’s comfort today and always.
Photo credit: wallyg / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
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