God is Perfect

GodIsPerfect

I like to take pictures around my yard, neighborhood, and traveling. I put some of them into a folder on my computer, and my desktop app scrolls through them.

This one showed up this morning when I opened my laptop, and my first thought was, “Isn’t God perfect?”

I mean, look at the perfection of the blossoms; the individual blossom attributes; the branches; each color and how they blend and mingle with the other colors; the sky; and how they all go together in blissful beauty.

And the camera can’t even capture the essence of the perfection!

God does all this for His glory and for our blessing.

I am blessed. How about you?

A Pruning Perspective on Blessings

October 3, 4, and 5, 2013, Winter Storm Atlas struck Rapid City, SD and surrounding areas and states. The devastation was horrible and widespread. After the tallies were made, it was estimated that at least 14,000 cattle, 1300 sheep, 300 horses, and 40 bison were killed, with South Dakota ranchers reporting losses of 20 to 50 percent of their herds.

I lived in Rapid City at the time. We were without power for three days, a result of the driving wet snow (over three and a half feet) and 70 mph winds. (Fortunately, we had a huge, nature-provided refrigerator right outside our back door – aka snow bank – , a camp stove, and a kerosene heater.)

We’d hiked up Crazy Horse, in the nearby Black Hills, just the week before. It had been a balmy autumn up to that point, with above-average temps. All the trees were still vibrant and green, full of their leaves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And that was their downfall.

As the snow built up on the leaves of the trees, the branches simply couldn’t take the weight of all that moisture, plus the battering winds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When we were able to go outdoors, no one could drive anywhere. We had 51” of snow in our driveway.

Wading over to the street, all anyone could see was snow and branches and green leaves piled on lawns and crowding the streets.

It didn’t look like God’s mercy or blessing.

Why do I post this now?

A memory came up on my Facebook page, from September of the next year, 2014. I will let that post tell the rest of the story…

 

Last March, on the first day of spring, I walked around our neighborhood in Rapid City and took pictures of the trees. As anyone who lives in Rapid can tell you, the trees had a sad story to tell, and they wore it on their sleeves, so to speak; except that most of them had no arms, due to the blizzard last October, which killed and maimed thousands of our green, leafy trees. Some of the trees simply didn’t make it, and had to be cut to the quick.

But others were pruned. I took pictures, last spring, of the trees, forlorn as they were; but radiating the hope that pruning represented. These trees were not cut down, assumed to be useless. Every vestige of life was spared, in the hope that they would return.

Did they? Please click through the pictures and see the hope revealed. I took new pictures this Labor Day weekend, summer’s last hurrah as it fades away into the sunset. The lush greens of summer are still in full view, and we may yet have a few hot days ahead. Even as whispers of cooler air and changing seasons bow in and out, most of us have felt autumn on the way.

These trees are reminders that God prunes us, in order to produce something beautiful. As I look at these trees, their scars are still evident, reminders of hardships endured. But, they are beautiful to behold, vibrant, giving, and full of promise.

1540292_1509221639294583_8760245082620870705_o

1546199_1509221592627921_8102805603702454385_n

10482611_1509221489294598_342722761373695295_n

10515080_1509221482627932_8920099756262102042_o

10517358_1509221609294586_4662225441447537798_o

10536540_1509221589294588_5222163150724056839_o

10603687_1509221615961252_1950000612332517524_n

10624064_1509221512627929_4327364126909422817_o

10635991_1509221475961266_5410270664007421401_n

10648293_1509221492627931_5876167397274347178_o

10650038_1509221622627918_4076424216454259099_n

God is Great

20190812_202236

So this was our view on our walk last night. We are blessed to have arrived at our family reunion, this year at the NC Outer Banks.

It’s been quite a week. We started a week ago with the death of a friend; a funeral on Friday. That put us two days late to our family reunion. God is good to allow the timing to be able to do both.

It was a hard three-day drive to get here from South Dakota (12 hours, 12 hours, 10 hours). My husband did all the driving (he’s the road warrior); I am the navigator (we use the real, paper maps, the kind that fold out). America is a beautiful country.

All the stress started melting away after dinner when we walked barefoot along the beach. We were awe-struck, gazing at the moonrise on the east side, and the sunset on the west.

20190812_201628

We talked about God’s amazing handiwork. About God’s people. We walked along the sandy beach, thinking about Genesis 22.17, That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.

And that we are now Abraham’s seed, because we have been grafted into God’s Family through Jesus Christ our Lord. We shall be blessed; we shall possess the gate of our enemies.