The photo above was taken last winter or the year before, if memory serves. It was an unexpectedly beautiful winter day, albeit very cold. It was perfect winter picture taking weather, and I was more than happy to oblige! :)
Looking back on this picture, I can't help but think that I never expected the opportunity to arise to take such a picture in the middle of winter. Winter tends to be bleak and cold, but there are times when it is breath-takingly beautiful, too. In the same vein, it seems like, just when we have it all figured out, life throws a curve ball and we enter into new and unexpected territory. Though it is different, though it is new, though it may be scary, it does not have to be bad. We can choose to trust God and rest in the beauty and safety of that trust, believing that He knows what is best.
I am not one to think that God causes bad things. I believe that He permits them, but He does not cause them nor does He like them. I cannot begin to fathom the mind of an all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present God, nor do I envy Him His job - I know I wouldn't want it. I believe He sees the mess we put ourselves in and weeps over it, aches for us, just like a parent does when they see their child in the midst of a mess they made themselves and know that they must learn through their mistakes because they chose not to listen to our advice. I believe that when horrible things happen, He still wants to be near us, help us through it all, but He waits for us to come to Him. Just like a parent is not responsible for a child going wayward and doing horrible things despite the parents' best efforts, just like a parent does not condone bad behavior but yet corrects it and loves their child through it, so God does with us. He does the best He can to help us fix it, just like we do with our children, when we come to Him asking for forgiveness and help.
I also think He sees us in the midst of hurt not of our own doing, not out of sin, hurt everyone faces in some form (i.e. death, illness, injury), and longs to hold us in His arms and comfort us through it. I also know that He knows the future, so He knows how any of these events will shape our lives, and He can show us which way to go along the path that is our life so that we receive the best outcome...if we will just listen to His leading. He even knows if the hurt will turn out to be a mixed blessing or not, kinda like my Fibromyalgia, and He knows every outcome in general, so there is no reason to fear the unknowns in life either.
Anyway, I'm a bit off track, but I've said all that to say this: I am in the midst of something right now that I will leave unspoken for the time being (and no, it's not a sin issue, but it is deeply personal) that I know that God knew about before the beginning of time. It is something that will forever change me, but it is beyond my power, no matter the outcome. I would ask that you pray for me, please. I have asked for God's peace and wisdom, and He gives it, but I still fear the unknown. It is human to do so, but I am asking for Divine. I want to rest and trust in God and know that He is good, not just in my head, but in my heart, too. Thank you.
I will tell you all about the unspoken when it is the right time, but now is not that time. I only mention it because I feel compelled by the Lord to do so, and I try to always listen to that prompting. It serves me best to do so. :) I hope you all understand, but it's ok if you don't.
Anyway, I also feel lead to ask if there is anything I can pray for you about today? Anything heavy on your heart? Anything causing you pain? Grief? Joy? Anything unexpected that you want someone to help you pray about? You don't have to tell me specifics and you don't have to comment publicly either. You can leave an anonymous comment or email me, if you wish, or even be silent. Know this, though, that I pray for you, dear reader. You are always on my heart and mind.
May you have a blessed day and feel the peace and power of God in your life today!