We pulled over and jumped out of the car! Kids ran around, fueled by pent up energy, and we hoped all the running around and burning of energy would make for great naps! 🙂
We found ourselves in a beautiful nature reserve and it was there that I saw God. The swimming of beavers and the rays of sunlight. The masterpiece of yellow flowers and the beauty of a red cardinal. I was captivated by the beauty and so very thankful.
We then rounded the corner of the path we were hiking and saw beautiful water – still and clear. I was taken aback by the perfect reflection that was displayed on the water.
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart” ~Proverbs 27:19
As we kept walking along the path, I could not stop thinking about that water and the breathtaking reflection of the trees. I am learning right now how to live out some of the lessons He has taught me over the past year. He has taught me how to be sober minded and not a captive of anxiety. He has taught me how to trust and not be a victim of continuous doubt. Now is the time to put those lessons into action. If I am consumed by anxiety and doubt about our future and all the unknown details of our new life overseas, I will not be a calm and clear reflection of Christ to those we will be living among soon. When I am walking in peace and led by the Spirit, He will shine through and I will reflect Him. Shortly after thinking about all of this, I looked down on the path, and there it was. A stake had been driven deep into the earth. Right then and there I was reminded that it is only because of Jesus and through the cross that I am able to reflect Him. As I bent down to take a picture of the stake, I noticed thorns all around. Yes, God was all around me and the scripture speaking of the work that was accomplished on the cross and how the sorrow of that day long ago would birth great joy and hope for the world were close to my heart.
The cross of Jesus is joyful sorrow and it’s everything to me.
When I am led by the Holy Spirit, I will be able to live a life that produces the fruit of the Spirit. But, it’s only with His help and through the victory of the cross that I am able to crucify the desires of the flesh – worry, doubt, anxiety – and live a peaceful life that reflects Him.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” ~Galatians 5:22-24
As I laid down to take a picture of the “nail” that I found, I clicked the shutter button and 2 images were taken. When I reviewed my images, I couldn’t believe my eyes. In the second image, the focus was shifted to just above the nail and what was the new focus of the picture was new life – a new green plant that had taken root and grown. The sorrow of the cross births new life and new joy, and while the sorrows of life will undoubtedly leave scars, much like the ones on our Savior’s body, it’s when we allow the Lifter of our Head to shift our gaze up toward Him, that the sorrows fade away and the hope of new life in Jesus will be sharply in focus. Hope in Jesus makes me steady and secure. He will never leave me and He is coming back, and so I am able to walk with a posture of hope and confidence!
“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ~Luke 21:27-28
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” ~Psalm 3:3