The Work of God’s Hands In The West Virginia Mountains

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Although my husband and I have hiked in West Virginia for many years, I never tire of the beauty found in the mountains. Each turn on the trail is a promise of more beauty waiting to be discovered. One can find a carpet of ferns, a panoramic view of mountains touching the clouds or a splash of color displayed in the flowers. The work of God’s hands is all around us!

Take a hike with me through Old Testament scriptures…

Pendleton Point in Blackwater Falls State Park

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. – Psalm 36:5-6

 

We weren’t the only ones enjoying the beauty on the Rohrbaugh Plains Trail!

I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. – Psalm 50:11

 

Following the Rohrbaugh Plains Trail in Dolly Sods

You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. – Psalm 18:36

 

Mountain Laurel

Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. – Deuteronomy 32:2

 

View of Clouds from Rocky Ridge Trail in Dolly Sods

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalm 19:1

 

Rhododendron

It will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. – Isaiah 35:2

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Light The Way

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The Light 1

It was just a cheesy landscape decoration made in China. The plastic butterfly on a stick seemed out-of-place as my in-laws and I sat outside enjoying the evening. With the day waning, the butterfly began to shine forth with ever-changing colors. I was drawn to the light as my eyes forgot about the darkness settling.

Much to my delight, my mother-in-law had an extra decoration. I went home with my own landscape decoration of light shaped like a flower. Placed outside my kitchen window, I purposely walked by that window after dark to glimpse the light.

During the day, the stronger light of the sun charges the battery attached to the flower, all in preparation for the evening. If the day was cloudy with the sun playing peek-a-boo, the flower does not last through the night. Each morning brings another opportunity for the flower to be refreshed in order to display light.

The purpose of light is to pierce the darkness. The light becomes a beacon of hope that guides the way. What was once hidden by the dark shadows is now revealed by the light. God sent His light into the world as a bouncing baby boy: Jesus Christ the promised Son and light of the world.

Jesus’s light caused men to fall at His feet in worship and other men to plot His death. It is the same today. The light of Jesus Christ always unveils the motivation of our hearts. May we embrace God’s light of eternal life in order to shine forth and draw others to Jesus. The world’s darkness will continue to encroach. However, God’s light will permeate all enabling us to endure through the night.

At the end of the day, it is God’s light in Jesus Christ that confirms we are truly home.

Psalm 18:28

You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

The Hour After The “C” Word

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It was the hour after I first heard the “c” word. The doctor seemed so confident in his conclusion that the lump was breast cancer. I reminded myself there was still the possibility that he was wrong. Hearing the first mention of cancer and my name in the same sentence stopped me in my tracks. The “c” word, biopsy, ultrasound pictures, and unasked questions played over and over in my mind.

In the hour after I first heard the “c” word, I still needed to run errands. Life had to go on. First on the list was picking up high school graduation pictures. As I drove to the photographer’s place, my mind was racing faster than the car.

I picked up the pictures, happy to see my youngest son handsome and all grown up. Would I see him graduate from college? What did my future hold? Breathe. We don’t know anything for certain. Relax. There is so much that has changed since my mom had breast cancer. I knew that I was being a pessimist and going to a dark place. There may be a very good logical and benign reason for this lump. I just wished the lump in my throat would go away too.

My husband called to ask about the doctor’s visit. It wasn’t a conversation I wanted to have over the phone alone in my car. I wasn’t ready for the tears to begin yet. I wanted to be held and know that we would get through this: whatever this turned out to be.

The doctor commented that my husband would want me to have the biopsy as soon as possible. I refused to schedule for the earliest date: my birthday. The diagnosis of breast cancer came two days after my birthday.

My cancer journey had begun. The diagnosis was my introduction, well, actually a painful reminder of how truly vulnerable we are in this world. Cancer was the motivation to draw closer to my God and depend on Him for everything. In that hour, God began to reassure me how strong He is and remind me how strong I can be in Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Psalm 18:1

I love you, O LORD, my strength.