Every once in a while there is a page or two of my life that just doesn’t feel right. But you know that, right? You’ve experienced those times when an uneasy spirit or restless feeling kept you on edge throughout the day and even awake at night when you really needed to sleep. At least it is easier for me to believe that others experience these things and I’m not alone. Some time ago I had a series of events in a short period of time that triggered what my doctor diagnosed as PTSD symptoms. I’m not sure why yet, but the last few nights have seen a return of some of those symptoms with some mild versions of the panic/anxiety attacks that accompanied them. For me, one of the most helpful things during such times is to recognize and admit to myself what is going on. This helps me to spend time with God examining various things that may be the cause of the trauma or stress in my brain.
When cloudy days come, we have a choice to make regarding how we view them and what our reaction to them will be. The best choice is to continue a pursuit of God that gives Him praise and worship in all circumstances. Even with a restless night that didn’t include the sleep I would have liked, it was good to gather at Deer Run with fellow believers for Bible study and worship. The message shared this morning was focused on being like Jesus by serving. Not only was the content and presentation encouraging, but especially so for me as it served to confirm the need for the current devotional booklets I am writing under the series title, “Devotions for Those Who Serve”.
By early afternoon the temperature had climbed into the low 60’s with plenty of sunshine so we headed down to Potato Creek State Park for a family walk. As we drove toward the park, the cloud cover began to build so that by the time we arrived the weather could best be described as warm, windy, and overcast. After a hike of about a mile and a half, we looked to see if the bald eagles were nearby before we left the park. Not seeing any, we began to head for home only to find a tree had blown down across the roadway completely blocking our exit. I searched through the truck and all I could find of potential use was a lightweight tie-down strap. After two attempts to pull the tree to the side of the road ended with the strap breaking and the tree not moving, it became apparent that we were going to need help. A call to the phone number for the park got me the front gate where the lady answering said she would send someone right away. Sure enough, first one and then a second DNR employee showed up with handsaws and a tow rope! 🙂 With a little bit of trimming, the tree was pulled to the side of the road but not before a bald eagle did a low flyover! It was a beauty and happened so quickly that there wasn’t a chance to get a camera out. Once we were free, we drove through the park to see if we could catch another glimpse of the eagles. We saw one gliding in the distance and were almost to the park exit when we noticed one closing in on us. I stopped the truck in where we were and first one, then a second eagles came flying right over our position. With the overcast sky the lighting wasn’t the best, but I did manage to snap a few photos of them as they went by.
As I thought about the day as a whole, God reminded me of the beauty that comes from Him even in the midst of cloudy days . . . and cloudy minds. While the cloudy day doesn’t look much like a sunny day and the beauty of each is often quite different, it is God’s presence in each that makes them beautiful.
I pray that you and I would always turn to God in good times and bad, in times of comfort and in times of conflict, in times of sun and in times of cloud. I pray that we would recognize that there are times when God calls for us to wait so that we can receive something better from Him than what we are ready for in the moment. I pray that our worship of God is lived out loud with great consistency in a way that lifts up Jesus to all people who cross our path.