Category: lake

Are you thirsting in the midst of provision?

girl snow hatI didn’t want to walk.  It was very cold, and starting to snow.  But in an effort to be consistent with exercise for my body and spirit, I headed out.  I doubted that God would show me anything this blustery day.  The wildlife was in hiding, and the low cloud cover gave a dreary monotonous look to the landscape.  Soon, I had to raise my coat collar and pull down my hat to keep the icy snowflakes from getting into my eyes and down my neck.

fog trailThe flakes grew in size and density until I could hardly see where I was going.  As the snow moved in, the wind died down.  The whole sky was gray with large spots of whiteness drifting down.  I kept my head down and squinted my eyes to keep my feet on the path before me.

The cold air made my nose stuffy and I began breathing through my mouth. Walking on, I realized how dry my throat was getting and became very thirsty. On a warmer day, I would have my water bottle at my side. But not today. Complaining out loud about the cold and dreariness of the day and about being thirsty, I trudged on.

Why had I walked today? If God wanted to speak to me, did I have to be so cold and thirsty to hear His message?

It was then I perceived a voice saying, “Look up!”

When I did, a huge snowflake hit me on the lips. Startled, I flinched my head back down to avoid a face full of cold, wet snow.

catching snowflakes tongueBut in licking my lips and tasting the moisture, I realized this was God’s provision for me! I had heard of “showers of blessing”, but this?  I looked up again, and opening my mouth, made a game of “catching” these blessings coming from Heaven. My thirst was quenched.

What a wonderful lesson!

It wasn’t the birds or the plants or the lake. Today the lesson was me – and how God meets my needs! Provision was all around but focused on my uncomfortable circumstances, I didn’t see it.

How often do we grumble and whine about our needs, when God’s provision is showering all around us? We need to:

  1.  Look Up: take our focus off the problem and put it on God!
  2.  Open our mouth: in praise to receive His blessing

Are you so focused on your problem you can’t see anything else? Look to God.

Are you using your mouth to moan and complain? Use it to praise Him

Are you standing under a ledge of bitterness or rebellion, preventing God’s blessings from falling on you? Step out from under that canopy to catch God’s provision.

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Whatever the weather –

Look up –

Open your mouth in praise –

Receive His blessing.

Does it feel like you are missing some blessings?

Sometimes water is let go from a nearby lake and the water level drops. When that happens, the most noticeable thing is there are fewer birds on the water and rocks lay exposed. At first glance the water looks shallow and scummy and the banks muddy and messy. As if the water was the blessing and it had been taken away.

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Do you feel like some of the blessings you enjoy have been removed? For a time during Covid, many of us are missing comforts we had before.

When we have the blessing of good friends and family close around us, meeting together, celebrating together, we revel in it. We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing of good times when we have them. And so often, take them for granted. It seems to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing. Like the water level dropping in the lake. This was my brief conclusion.

Ducks_'n_trashWhere the trail comes near the water’s edge, I stepped off to have a closer look. From there I could see things… the ducks and geese had gathered in this inlet to feast on algae that had grown on the underwater rocks, now exposed because of the lowered water level.  What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans that had stuck in the muddy bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocky edge to pull them out.  So, this “clean up” effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when we feel blessings have been withheld for a time?

Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings we take for granted, or that we usually don’t even notice?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably yes.

Like the algae covered rocks, can we feast on the growth of our faith in God that has grown in the depth of His blessings but is not fully exposed until the level drops?  Yes.

Trusting God in the good times is building our faith and strengthening it so that when challenges arise, our faith can handle them. It’s encouraging to learn that the trust we have in the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in the good times will carry us through the harder times.

Have we allowed things into our lives under the covering of God’s blessing, that we need to remove when we see their trashy presence in full view.  Undoubtedly, yes.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”  And if you are feeling like God’s blessing has been somewhat withdrawn in your life, don’t be discouraged.  You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting and clean up before you.

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Take a moment of quiet, and ask God to reveal a new blessing to you in the here and now.

Ask Him to reveal any attitude, behavior or relationship adjustment that needs to be “cleaned up.”

Appreciate that there is blessing in even this time.

And before long, the depths will return. my-lake

Will you Squat or Soar?

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It may be warming up where you are, but in Colorado, we are having what may be the snowiest March on record!

And there are still lots of birds wintering here from Canada.  They’re fun to watch as I walk around the nearby lake.

Picture a cold snowy day. There is a white, icy bed of snow on the ground; ice creeping slowly across the lake.

Your eye moves from the white of the ground, to the gray of the freezing water, to the haze of the sky, hemming in the horizon with a veil of frosty air. The sun is only a bright spot in the gray blanket of low, snow clouds tucked in around the lake. Not much is moving as you gaze out across the expanse of grayness.

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There are groups of ducks and geese, tightly tucked and asleep on the ice. Another group of nondescript white birds is clumped together near the water. But there is none of the clucking and chatter that usually accompanies their presence. Not a sound is heard. The frigid air threatens to stop any communication cold, as it freezes every breath taken.

Then, above the lake, a bird appears: silently soaring, in seemingly slow motion. Its graceful wings, stretched to its farthest reach, give it a look of majesty as it hangs upon the air. It is joined by another. They turn twice, together, and are joined by a third.

The mid-air ballet continues for several moments before they separate and go in three different directions. As one flies towards you, you can see the graceful curve of its pure white, broad wings, and the delicate black tips that reach out to capture the air that lifts it higher.

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You recognize this bird. It’s the same kind that you noticed before, squatting, clumped together with others like it in a huddle on the ground. This same little nondescript bird that blended in so plainly with the frozen background displays a Godly majesty when flying. But of course! Flying is exactly what God created it for!

Soaring, is what God created you for. What is keeping you squatting in the snow?

It’s so easy to stay on the ground with our friends, huddled against the circumstances of our lives, fearing the cold, the wind.

But the air is warmer higher up. And the wind lifts you. And God has prepared you to enjoy using the gift of soaring He has given you! And His glory and majesty that you reflect, will inspire others and honor Him.

But, the choice is yours. Will you squat? Or soar?

Take the leap!  See you up there  smiley-1635449_640

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 2

Still seeing and hearing the geese around – even in this below-freezing weather!

Here’s 3 more lessons to add to the last post about what I’ve learned from these silly/smart birds:

canada-goose-3190675_640#3   Communicate with those around you

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other.

Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions.

I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

wild-geese-1148985_640#4   Circle before you land

Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

goose take off#5   Travel light

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially over long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, and whatever else entangles you.

Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

canada-geese-826022_640We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world.

But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created.

Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.  And be a little Silly…or Smart!

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 1

Here in Colorado we get a huge influx of Canadian Geese this time of year.  They have migrated south for the winter from Canada.  And will be here till spring when they make their return flight.

Pomona GeeseGoose interaction with people usually leaves something to be desired. But observing the geese relating to each other and watching their behavior together can teach some valuable lessons to Christians.

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#1     Travel in a group
Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

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# 2     Take turns leading.
Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated.

The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead.

Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say “no” or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

goose-1391251_640More lessons next time, but try these in your life and ministry. 

God has placed wisdom all around us, in all shapes and sizes.  We can learn from everything He’s created. 

Try out some wisdom from a “silly goose” and then decide – silly?  Or smart?