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Winter Wonder

Looking Up

I don't know about you, but I often find myself focusing on the difficulties surrounding me, the "ground" so to speak, and forget to look up and see the bigger picture of what He is doing in my life and the world around me.

I live in the northeastern US, and our climate tends to be quite snowy in the winter. I was driving to work one morning during February, after a fairly large snowfall the night before. The snow had stopped overnight, and the roads had been pretty well plowed already. The sun was shining, and the "storm had passed".

The roads were still potentially dangerous, but thankfully they were quite passable. After recent storms, I had often focused on driving very slowly and carefully, since I live in a hilly area, and things can get slippery very quickly.

At one point I happened to glance up at the trees and hills surrounding the street on which I was traveling. The view was breathtaking and glorious. The landscape seemed to have been sprinkled with sugar, or even icing. It reminded me of those postcards or calendar pictures that capture the beauty of a "winter wonderland".

In that moment, it hit me how very often my "focus" is on the "road" of my life, trying to stay safe and navigate the "challenges" that interrupt my "safe passage". Sometimes I forget to glance up every now and then to see the "big picture".

I tend to look at the fact that the snow might impede MY progress, getting where I want to go. I forget to "lift up my eyes" and see things from His perspective. I forget that the very things that may cause me some difficulty or even danger may be bringing about a breathtaking view for others, or even myself if I'd have the "eyes to see". At times I don't remember to look for the BEAUTY and WONDER of His handiwork.


The Joy Set Before Him

I think of Jesus, and the overwhelming struggle He went through in His last hours, and how He walked that road with such grace.

The scripture says this:

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:2-3

He had His eyes on the "joy set before Him", not on the cross. Surely the thought of the cross caused Him grief ... yet He willingly walked the path that led there, because He had His focus elsewhere. His eyes were focused on the JOY that would be the RESULT of His struggle.

And what was that joy? At the very least, a huge part of that joy was the knowledge that He would be enabling US to come into fellowship with Him ... to be able to call us His "friends" and to be "one" with us. WE were (and are) His joy!


Beautiful Landscape

So, how about you?

Do you have any "struggles" in your life? Any danger? Any challenges? Any roadblocks? Any inconveniences?

If so, would it be possible to quickly lift up your eyes to the "hills" that surround you, to see if there is perhaps a "bigger picture" that you haven't been seeing? Is it possible that God is spreading beauty across the landscape of your life, and in order for that beauty to come about; your own "plans" have been inconvenienced in the process?

Is it possible that He is placing wonder, beauty and joy in your path, if you will only take your eyes off the "road" for a moment to see it?

"I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1-2

I pray that He stuns you with His beauty today, causing you to wonder and rejoice, as you travel along the path of Life...


February 6, 2005

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