God is a colorful designer. This painted scene, is from a crisp autumn day, near The Saint Lawrence River. We delight in the wonder of the Lord, as His word tells us to in Psalm 37:4 (NKJV)
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
This verse tells us to delight in the Lord. We can take joy, pleasure, contentment, happiness and so much more in our Lord. Yes, we have every reason to delight in God. He is ever caring, in every area of our life. What a peaceful time it is to walk along this splendid pathway of color, reflecting on the fact that God created it for us to enjoy. We see a glimpse of His unending creative beauty.
Have you ever considered that God is delighting in you as well? Further along in Psalm 37, verse 23 we read just that.
“The steps of man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)
When we let God guide our way, then He delights in us! What a comfort to know He truly is concerned about us. He cares for us! Let Him direct your steps, so He may be delighted with you. Take time to notice the beauty along your path in life. You only go through once. Delight in the Lord!
The cruise ship stopped in Juneau, Alaska, after all this was an Alaskan cruise. For most of the day, we explored the Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Park, which was awesome. It almost appeared fake; the beauty was surreal. Later that day, having a short time left before the ship was to set sail again, my husband and I decided to go up the tram in Juneau. The view of The Alaskan Coastal Mountain range was overwhelming in stature, simply put; it was magnificent to behold! In seeing God’s amazing creation, the scripture that came to my mind was:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2 (KJV)
This area was pure untouched nature. I would have loved to explore the entire region; sadly, there was not enough time. However, in the short time that I was there, it made a lasting impression on me. He made such an amazing place, as the world, for us to live on; as well as giving us His inspired word, for us to live by. I know that He cares for us and will not at any time leave us nor forsake us. He at no time wanted us to be separated from Him.
In His word, The Bible, God reassures us that He is our help.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
Whatever you are going through at this time, if your circumstances seem overwhelming and impossible, if you are in a dark, low place, Look Up To The Hills From Whence Comes Your Help! You are not alone.
Up in the North Country of New York, we get to experience all four seasons. Some places in the world do not get seasonal changes. It can be nice to observe these seasonal transitions, as each time of year, has its own beauty.
The photo featured in this blog is during the season of winter. Winter in the north is very long, cold and snowy. Some winters are harsher than others. It can be difficult to get through to Spring. Many people choose to go to a warmer climate during the winter months. They are known as “Snowbirds. “
Although winter is not my favorite season, it does have some beauty to it that can be refreshing. I look at winter as a time to rest and be renewed. The weather causes us to do more inside activities. We can think about it as a time out. In God’s plan, things are dormant or in a state of hibernation during winter. They are in a waiting pattern; resting and replenishing. We need to learn from their example. Taking time to study, learn and reflect is a good way to spend the time.
God’s word tells us in Psalm 46:10(NKJV) to:
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Each season has a purpose for us. A cold winter day, with freshly falling snow, has a peaceful, serenity to it. The photo of the frozen river on a freezing, yet sunny day, illustrates this well. Take a time out. Be Still and get to know God!
I live in a small rural “city” in Northern New York. I quote “city” not to diminish it, but growing up on Long Island, about 45 miles away from New York City; I view a city very different! Just a few minutes out of town, there is rural farmland. We also enjoy having a large Amish Community among us.
While traveling across the back roads one day, my husband and I came across this Amish farm of winter wheat. It was harvested and stacked in shocks. The Amish use a machine that is called a binder to harvest the wheat. They hitch the binder up to their horses to do the job. They do not use modern machinery. How they live is interesting, and the field of wheat sparked my curiosity. Of course, I had to get a picture.
Photos inspire me to think of God’s word and relate it to His creation. Planting, harvesting and sowing are all a part of His plan. The Bible verse I used for this photo is John 12:24.
“Most assuredly, I say to you ‘unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.’” John 12:24 (NKJV)
In the verse, John 12:24, we can see, metaphorically, that Jesus is the seed that fell to the ground and died. He, even so, rose up to bring about an abundant harvest, for the glory of God. Through His sacrificial death, eternal life was made possible. This is the way God planned to redeem a lost world, through Christ, Himself, the perfect seed dying and rising again. We, who believe, are admonished to die to ourselves and live for Christ. By God’s grace, we can become a fruitful branch that produces a harvest for our Lord.
God not only shows us His spiritual provision for us, but His provision for our human needs as well. He cares for us through the planting, growing, and harvesting of the food we need to sustain our life. The farmer knows the cycle well. The picture of the field of winter wheat portrays the food, we need to eat here on earth, while John 12:24 speaks to us about our spiritual needs. Truly, this depicts God’s Harvest!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
This setting is calling out to us to come and sit for a while. It says to take a rest; be still, learn and reflect. In these times of great busyness, this is a lost practice. In this world of stress, distractions and many troubles, we can lose sight of God and the peace we can have in Him. He wants to know us, and for us to know Him. Many things get in the way. We don’t make the time we need to build that relationship. It takes time to get to know Him and His word to us. He desires for us to have a relationship with Him. God wants to ease our burdens. We must give them to Him, and He will give us rest. Let us learn to stop, be still and listen.
Furthermore, Matthew 11:29-30 (NKJV), speaks to us
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
As I think about how being still and spending time with the Lord is quickly becoming a missing practice, this old hymn came to mind. Sadly, hymns have become a lost entity as well. Really listen to the words in the hymn William Longstaff wrote. We are inspired to “Be holy, for I am holy” as said in 1 Peter 1:16(NKJV)
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; Find rest in Him always, and feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushing on; Much time spend in secret, with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide; And run not before Him, whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Let us be sure to come to Jesus and take time to be holy. The picture bids us to, “Come Sit Awhile.”
Hymn “Take Time To Be Holy” Written by William Longstaff, 1882. Public Domain
“He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.” Psalm 105:39(NKJV)
The picture featured, illustrates this scripture very well. It shows the cloud, as the covering. The sun, with the red glow, portrays the fire. Psalm 105:39 tells us how God was there for the Israelite’s all through their exodus and journey in the wilderness. God led them out, but didn’t desert them, even though the Israelite’s complained like He had. That is not true, He supported them all along the way. They weren’t living a luxurious lifestyle, but their needs were being met in miraculous ways. Some thought it would be better to go back to Egypt. Had they already forgotten why they cried out to be delivered? They were living under harsh bondage. God is loving and caring.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13: 5-6(NKJV)
We really can’t say too much about the Israelite’s and how they behaved, because we must honestly look at our own lives to see we have fallen into the same attitudes. We, who have the Holy Spirit as our helper, cannot even walk as we should. We grumble and complain. We are not content, as it tells us in the verse in Hebrews. God does care for us and is there for us through everything. He hasn’t deserted us either! His word teaches and guides us.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
This scripture says a lot. Simply put, it tells us that God doesn’t change. He gave us the Bible, His word; Holy Spirit inspired, for us to have and live by. It is His Story from creation (Genesis) to His coming again (Revelation). It has the beginning, the fall of man, His plan to redeem us, guides to life, many promises, the end; basically, everything we need to live by. God was with the Israelite’s as they wandered along their pilgrimage, and He is also with us as we travel on ours. May we at no time forget that He is our God, He is our helper, and He will not at any time leave us nor forsake us. God does not change; He will always be there for us. God is our covering.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) NKJV
Reflecting on God’s word, in James 1:17, we are reminded that every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights. As I contemplate this photo, I can sense these words come alive. I can feel His warmth, as God sends His love and light down on us, illuminating our way. Let us ponder this verse throughout the day, knowing that our Father desires to bless us with every good thing. Let His light radiate for all to see. God is love! He is always with you.
A rock is not a living object but is inanimate. However, this lifeless object brings pictures of understanding concerning God. The rock, in this photo, is a large mass of stone, forming a hill, with a cliff. We use the term ROCK to represent a firm foundation or support. The Bible refers to the LORD as our ROCK!
Let us look at what the Bible says about this.
“There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2 (NASB )
Looking at the image, we can visualize this. We can see in the picture the rock is not a pebble; it is not a small stone, or even a boulder, but it is a large foundation stone, which can withstand much, just like our God.
The Bible further states:
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2 (NKJV)
Looking closer at some of the words used in the above scripture will help us get a fuller understanding.
Rock- A rock signifies something solid and strong.
Fortress- This is a place we feel protected.
Deliverer-Is someone who can rescue from harm.
Strength- Is being firm, courageous and powerful.
Trust- To have confidence, certainty and to rely on.
Shield- An Armor used to protect.
Salvation-Is to be saved from one’s sins.
Stronghold- Someone or something has a grip on you. This can be good or bad.
All the above words were used in Psalm 18:2 to help us to understand more about God and who He is. In these descriptive words, God is portrayed as, strong in nature; a person who supplies shelter for protection. The one who can rescue, give courage and power. Through these, we can take confidence in Him. Furthermore, we can always rely on Him. He shields us, saves us from our sins and will never let us go. He is the foundation stone we can build upon and stand on. Surely, He is worthy of our trust and adoration. How can we look upon creation, read His word and not see that it all falls into perfect place? Our God is our ROCK!
In this picture, I see it is the night, the time of darkness. However, God does not leave us without light.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So, the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5 (NKJV)
There was a darkness that was hovering over the waters when God created light, giving us day and night. A little while later God added two specific lights to help guide us.
“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.” Genesis 1:16 (NKJV)
Now, we have the Sun to rule the day, and the Moon to rule the night. Even so, the greatest factor in all of this is told in the following verse by the Apostle John.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5 (NKJV)
God is light. He emanates light from His being! No darkness can dwell in Him. Looking at this picture, at the bottom, we see the deepest darkness. As we get further away from the light, the darker it is. When we get closer to the light, the darkness is illuminated. It changes to more of a blue, I call this “Midnight Blue.” His light glows through the darkness, clearing the way until it beams out shining brightly for all to see. God cannot contain Himself; His light must shine forth. He is the light of the world.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)
God is faithful, from the beginning until the end of time. All of this is part of His plan.
“It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah Psalm 89:37(NKJV)
In our midnight hour, when all is blue, He is there. When it is the darkest, look up, do not fear. The light of God dwells within, it is always near. He will enfold you in His loving care. He is faithful, constant, steadfast and true. We can always trust the light to help us through. God is the light in the darkness. He is forever true.
Walk in His ways and the darkness will have no hold. Let His light shine.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV)