2016: Page 295

Page 295 was a rainy day from beginning to end with just a short time of the sun trying to break through the clouds as it set.  So, with a plan to do some sightseeing on our fall break and and a day of rain, waterfalls seemed like a fitting subject.  The rain served two purposes, at least.  One, it provided water for the waterfalls during a season when waterflow over the falls is rather hit or miss.  All of the material we read about the falls we ended up visiting said they were “seasonal falls”, best viewed during the spring when the creeks were typically running with water.  Well, they were running with water today and the result was some very beautiful scenes to take in and photograph.  The second thing the rainy day did was to thin out the crowds.  Being in the peak of the fall color season, the information for the park we visited said parking was limited so during weekends in the fall you either needed to arrive early or park at the lodge and take a shuttle to the main hiking area.  Parking was definitely not a problem today!  But better than not having an issue with parking was the ability to take photos without them being filled with people who couldn’t get out of the way of every picture if they wanted to.  The one thing that can easily ruin outdoor plans actually improved ours today.

Today’s photo was taken at our final waterfall stop of the day after hiking all day up and down steps, through and alongside creek beds, over and even through rock formations, and even on a couple concrete handicap accessible pathways.  This one included a hike of about one half mile each way with half of it being stairs and half fairly level path.  It is always a bonus when we are able to spend a day together as a family, even doing something that is strenuous and especially difficult for Susan and have her talk all the way back home about her fun day.  

As I think about the day, I realize there are many times when I fail to even look for the silver-lining in a day of less than ideal circumstances.  Today was a reminder that the rainy-day circumstances can bring great beauty with them if we only know where to look.  Granted, rain isn’t a benefit to every activity or plan.  A number of years ago we visited Bush Gardens in Tampa, Florida on a rainy day.  After paying our admission and spending a short time at the park, we decided it wasn’t going to be much fun.  A number of the rides and attractions were closed because of the rain and there wasn’t anything that the rain was going to improve.  It was at a time when I valued money much more than I do now, but in a moment of clarity I remember saying, “Just because we spent the money doesn’t mean we have to waste the day.”  The money was gone, but the day wasn’t.  We left the park and went to the nearby science museum where they had a weather display.  A part of  it was showing radar images and we could see that the rain was somewhat local and by driving an hour further south we would be out of the rain and could enjoy a Florida beach day.  So, we drove south until we were under warm, sunny skies and then headed toward the coast where we found a beach that we still enjoy visiting when we have the opportunity.

So many times things don’t go according to our plans and we quickly give up on God being able to make anything good out of the circumstances we find ourselves in.  We know God’s promise but we often fail to see, or even look for, how it applies in our life today.  We may believe that God will cause everything to work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but doubt fills our mind and we conclude that only spiritually and only in the future when Jesus returns and makes everything right.  There is an element of truth in that belief, but not all of the good that God works together for us is to be done in some future, eternal time element — some of the good that He wants to bring into our lives is today, tomorrow, and/or the next day!

I pray that you and I would understand and welcome the good that God desires to fill our lives with.  I pray that we would see the beauty that He has in store for us and realize the magnificence of it is worth the work and rain we must endure in order to see it.  I pray that we would see the value of enjoying time together with family as being far greater than whatever dollar figure that might cost us.  I pray that we would look for the silver-linings in the clouds of life and thank God for providing them.

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