Page 338 has been a laid back day of much needed rest for the mind and body. After sleeping in, the short morning was spent on some correspondence and going through the photos I took yesterday. Shortly after noon we headed to a Chinese buffet for lunch and then wandered through Menard’s for a while. The center of the afternoon was spent browsing Facebook and looking at some options for a mini-Christmas break getaway and also for my January trip to Gatlinburg for the Christian Camp Leaders’ Conference. By late afternoon we headed to a house-warming open house before coming back home where I am sitting at the computer writing today’s page. 🙂
With so little accomplished today, this could either be one of my shortest written “pages” or one of the longest. 🙂 The photo on today’s page was taken yesterday afternoon as I found this robin fluffing up its feathers to insulate itself against the cold. It made me think about the increasing layers of clothing that I will be wearing in the coming weeks and months in an effort to stay warm while doing the necessary outside tasks. Yesterday I could have used one more layer than what I had on, yet here was this bird using its created ability to insulate its body from the cold. It was a great reminder of how God cares for the birds of the air in a way that should increase my level of trust in Him.
As I looked at information today about the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area, I thought about the tension that exists between truth and fear. Throughout the week nearly all of the news coming out of the Gatlinburg area was about the wildfires and the devastating losses being caused. Unfortunately, now that that fires are out it appears that the truth of the devastation has created a fear that there is nothing left to visit. Now the message trying to be shared on one website after another is, “Yes, help is needed for those who suffered great damage and loss but the rest of us need your help through your continued vacations and visits to the area.” It made me think of how difficult it is at times to let people know about the needs you have without creating a fear in their mind that you are on the brink of some catastrophe. When we are in the midst of a “fire” in our life, that is what we are likely to talk about even if it isn’t the total, or even majority, view of what is really going on. While understanding that is important when we consider how we share with others, it is even more important when we listen to them about what is going on in their life. Yes, the damage and loss need to be made known but we also need to take the time to step back and examine the fuller picture of what we still have. Even as a Christian, we can experience great loss that will feel like it can completely devastate us so it is critical to remember that no matter what we lose, nothing can separate us from the love of God that we have through Christ Jesus.
I pray that you and I would not just know about, but that we would know how much God cares for us because of His great love. I pray that we would pay attention to the reminders of His presence that God surrounds us with. I pray that we would not forget those who suffer loss, but we would also not let their loss fill us with fear. I pray that we would always remember what we have in Christ, regardless of any loss or tragedy we face in this life.