This photo was taken in April. The buds were just blooming. Along came some snow, softly covering the new flowers. It took a very pretty picture. It reminded me of a Bible verse talking about the seasons. Of course, that verse is Ecclesiastes 3:1:
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” NKJV
Even if seasons overlap a little, they do each have their own time and purpose. It is nice we get to enjoy them.
While standing at the front of this church building, it automatically causes me to look up. This steeple is awesome, but at the same time it makes me feel small and helpless. My thoughts turn heavenward, causing me to cry out to my Lord and God. What a comfort it is knowing He is there for us. This is just a building, however it does represent God to us. The building is built with a stone foundation and stands strong. How much more is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our true rock and foundation? He stands even stronger!
In our daily life, with all the trials and struggles we sometimes face, isn’t it a comfort and wonder to know we have a God who is with us to help? The troubles can overwhelm us, making us feel small and helpless, as when standing by such a towering building. When we choose to look upon our true rock and foundation, God, we feel empowered and strengthened. Why? Let us read what the Bible tells us in His word about Jesus as our rock.
Psalms 18:2 (NIV)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
While a church building may represent God to us, I am grateful to have the living God, my True Rock and Foundation to stand on. I pray you do as well, and if not, will you consider Him today?
Looking at these train tracks, watching as they fade far off into the horizon, many thoughts and memories come to mind. It brings me back to my childhood days on Long Island. Trains were and are a major part of life there. They are an alternative form of transportation into New York City, avoiding the Long Island Expressway experience. You can take the train to many other places as well. They are an important form of transportation.
When you see train tracks what do you think of? Perhaps, a journey, an enjoyable ride, traveling to a vacation area or a daily commute to get to a specific place? Trains do not hold the same role for all people. A train might stand for a pleasurable trip somewhere, instead of a daily commute. There also are freight trains, which bring supplies and food to places for us to use in our daily lives. We can see that trains are useful for transporting people or items from one place to another. They bring us to a specific destination.
As we journey through life on earth, from a Christian perspective, we have a precise destination before us. Our purpose is to make it to this destination, our true home in Heaven! While reaching this goal becomes our focus or concern; we do not want to neglect the experience itself along the way.
May I ask you a few questions? How are you doing on your pilgrimage? First, do you know your destination? If so, are you staying on track? Have you been derailed along the way? It can be too easy to get distracted and get off course! We as Christians, have a destination we are reaching for. We have a “conductor” guiding us as we travel along. He is there to help us keep on track.
Most of us are familiar with the movie “Polar Express.” Let us consider this movie. It has a destination, which is The North Pole. There were passengers aboard for the ride. They were picked up along the way, especially for this train ride. They were not there by chance. Each one was going to the same place, the North Pole. However, they each had their own struggles to overcome along the way. The conductor knew each person and each situation. He was guiding them along and helping them to overcome their problems. They were each shown what they needed, from the conductor. He gave them their tickets punched with their need on it. One was to BELIEVE. Another was to LEAD. One was to RELY ON, and another LEARN. They each received a special message for their unique situation.
Let us now get back to us trekking along on our paths. Do you feel overwhelmed, confused, lost, unsure, unworthy, alone, tossed about, or distracted? We have a destination we want to get to. We have struggles along the way also. Sometimes we can feel so overwhelmed or alone we allow ourselves to get sidetracked. Do not be dismayed for we have THE TRUE conductor, Jesus Christ, to guide us on our way. He is our keeper and is showing us the way to overcome all obstacles. He cares for you and me. He is making sure we make it to our destination, home with Him. He helps each of us in our own special need. He wants us to BELIEVE, LEARN, RELY ON, and LEAD. We must look to Him and His word to stay on track. Proverbs 4:25-27 (NKJV) admonishes us to do that!
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you, Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”
Glowing ever so softly, the sun is radiating gloriously! It fully encompasses the area, with the glow of a spectacular sunset. I am reminded that God is our sun and shield. How wonderful is His love for us! He bestows His undeserved glory and grace upon us. Patiently and faithfully God is there for us! In His word it also says, we need to walk uprightly to be endowed with all His blessings. These are His words and promise to us. How do we do this? How do we walk uprightly, especially in these troubled times we are experiencing? God does not leave us without hope or a way out. Take heed to what He says in Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJV:
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Do not be overwhelmed or discouraged by outside circumstances. Do not let your peace be taken from you. Stand strong, gird up and trust Him with all your heart. Be a light amid all the darkness. As one cried in the wilderness; be one to shine in the dark.
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matthew 13:43 NKJV
Are you anxious, worried, stressed, or uneasy? Are you concerned about all the situations and circumstances in your life? Do you not know that you are of great value to God? We read in Matthew 6:26 (NKJV):
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
The picture above illustrates this scripture well. Walking along the Saint Lawrence Seaway Trail, the birds above were soaring, gliding, and fluttering about. They were enjoying themselves and appeared not to have a care in the world. They moved about with great ease. We tend to get heavy laden at times in life. We stumble and struggle through the days. The cares of the world take away our peace and joy. God does not want us to carry all these cares upon ourselves. He is our ever-present help in time of need. He tells us in His word to come to Him and to cast our care onto Him.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7(NKJV)
The birds really do not have a care in the world; we should not either! He wants us to trust Him, in all things. Give all our concerns to Him, so we too can glide our way along this earthly journey. Watching God’s extraordinary creation is surely a confirmation of what He proclaims in His word. To God be the glory! Cast your care upon Him, He truly does care for you. Do not forget that you are of great value to God!
One afternoon I was taking out our little Dachshund for some air and other business. I was feeling a little down, with all that is going on in the world right now. It can get overwhelming at times. We not only have to deal with the corona virus illness itself, but with all the unrest and conflict resulting from all the experts and leaders. As I was mulling all this over in my mind, a question came upon me. It was “Why are you cast down?” Immediately I lifted my eyes up to the sky and cried out to God in prayer, fully considering the Bible verse in Psalm 43:5 (NKJV):
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
I looked straight up in the sky above, and as I focused my eyes, I was delighted at the beautiful scene I beheld. The sun was brightly shining, illuminating through the clouds, brightening up the cloudy atmosphere. I felt a sense of great peace, comfort, and thankfulness. Yes, why am I cast down? I have no reason to be cast down. God encouraged me to lift my eyes to Him! Let us look at Psalm 123:1(NKJV):
“Unto you I lift up my eyes, O you who dwell in the heavens.”
Despite all our surroundings and trials in this world, God is in control. He is there for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just take the time to look unto Jesus, He will never fail us. We can get through all things with Him at our side. Be encouraged, be of good cheer, God is our help. We will get through this.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33(NKJV)
While standing near the edge of The Grand Canyon an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder, along with a little fear and trembling, came upon me. Stunned, I gazed out in amazement. Overlooking the absolute beauty and grandeur of this sight was a breath-taking experience! One cannot even begin to grasp what lies before you.
My mind marveled at the awesomeness of this creation by God. The magnificence of The Grand Canyon can be unfathomable. Looking upon the width and length and depth and height of it, it appears infinite, although it is not. The Grand Canyon is finite with limits and boundaries, despite its largeness.
Now consider this, if God can create something like The Grand Canyon in all its splendor, how incredible is God Himself? He is not finite and has no limits and boundaries. Who can understand His width, length, depth, and height? He does not even have any measurements. What does this say about His vastness and infiniteness? In Ephesian 3:17-19 (NKJV) we read what The Bible has to say about this very subject:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This is wonderful to ponder and meditate on. God has a never-ending love for us. He cares for us and no matter what situation you are going through; it is not too hard for Him! Let us look at Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV):
“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”
This should bring you hope, peace and comfort to know what a loving God we have. His vast and deep love for us is unending. His love is infinite with a depth immeasurable, that reaches every aspect of our life. Marvel at the awesomeness of God Himself! He cares for you. God’s blessing on you all.
Many of us have heard stories from people who were close to death. They tell about their experience of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. There have been quite a number of these accounts in near-death situations. This is definitely a reassurance how God is there and is REAL.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to see this light? When visiting Whiteface Mountain, in The Adirondacks of New York, to get to the top of the mountain; you must walk through the tunnel pictured above. As I stood at the entrance to this tunnel, I couldn’t help but think about, “The Light at the end of the tunnel!” Could it be something like this? I need to follow the light.
In life, we face many different circumstances. In some of them, we may long for the end of the problem to arrive. We might have to endure for a longer time than we like. The expression “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” is used to help us get through. If we put our trust in God, we always have hope. Keep looking to the Lord, He is the light of the world. He tells us this in John 8:12 (NKJV).
“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.”
At this moment in time, we are waiting upon the Lord to calm the storm of illness from spreading its destruction any further. We all have many emotions to deal with during this crisis. We must go to God and His word to get His faithful reassurance.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18(NKJV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Keep looking to the Lord, our light, and get through the tunnel confidently. God Bless and be well.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)
The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona, surely is a representation of Jesus our strong tower. What a joy to have been able to view this in person. The cross is predominating; you really can’t miss it! It is upright in its glory for all to clearly see.
The Cross is a symbol of joy, love, peace, grace, hope, mercy, salvation, safety and so much more. Ultimately, it stands for the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. This is, of course, all wonderful for us; however, it goes much deeper than this. The joy, love, sacrifice and all of what I mentioned above are the result of the willingness of the “Son of God” to endure this ordeal. The other side of the story had to take place for this symbol to mean so much to us.
Let us consider the “other side of the story,” as we are in the Lenten season. During this time, we need to reflect and consider all that Jesus endured for us. Without His willingness to tolerate this pain, we would not have the glorious Resurrection Day, Easter, to celebrate.
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour.’ But for this purpose, I came to this hour. ‘Father, glorify your name.’” John 12:27-28 (NKJV)
Jesus was aware, His entire life, of the reason He was sent to earth and all that He would go through. Actually, He foreknew before His earthly existence, yet He still came to die for us. He bore this burden for our salvation.
“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
The physical suffering and agony that He was put through, is greater than any of us could ever imagine. As a matter of fact, it was unbearable. We focus on this aspect more, but what about the emotional suffering He experienced? He prayed and literally sweated drops of blood over His upcoming fulfilling of purpose. I believe the emotional was even more unbearable than the physical. Consider this, Jesus the Son of God, part of the trinity, in heavenly bliss with His Father, knowing no sin, became sin for us and was separated from God. This caused Him to cry out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)
Ponder this, He was physically whipped, tortured, beaten, mocked, shamed, crucified; and then He was separated from God, as the sin of the world fell on Him. This was the ultimate agony that He endured for us. Yes, The Cross, is a symbol of joy, love, peace, grace, hope, mercy, salvation, safety and so much more. Prayerfully, we will never forget the reason why. All this leads us to Easter, Resurrection Day! Hallelujah, thanks be to our God!
For a full detailed account of Jesus’ suffering go to: inspirationalcorner.blog/easter, it is an inspirational read. I highly recommend it.