Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sometimes before embarking on a photo trip I will share the desires of my heart with Papa about what I would like to see there. Sometimes he lets me see what I asked for, but always immeasurably more than I asked for, even if I did not see the 'specific' thing for which I had asked. He gives me freedom, but how I believe he chuckles when I submit to his road choices and not mine. For instance, I remember the trip I so wanted to see a bear in Colorado. I didn't get to see the bear, but I did get to hand feed a red fox a peanut. One of the greatest thrills of my life! Man oh man, GOD OHHHHHH GOD!
I just finished reading a book by William Young called THE SHACK. I highly recommend it. It is not for the lighthearted. It deals so much with the misconceptions we have in our relationship to our Heavenly Father. Our thoughts are not his. We expect him to answer our prayers the way we ask. Asking and praying are important, but we often think that he does not love us so much, or that we are unlovable and not good enough because our prayers were not answered as we wished. Especially, as in this story, when innocent children are killed by a very sick individual.
I have learned, and need to submit to the teaching again, that having 'expectations' of anyone is a sure set-up for some dismal attitudes of disappointment and homemade soups of suffering. However, if I submit to God, as in my trips, knowing he will lead me to the paths where my blessings lie, I can go to that uncharted territory with great 'expectancy'. I have faith that he will be with me, no matter if I am traveling through the valley of the shadow of death or to high places filled with alpine wildflowers.
So what has any of this to do with the pictures above? Sometimes God gives me a photo that I do not understand at the time I have the divine appointment to take it. I know that it gave me a punch in the spirit when I took it, but do not know understand at the time how God will use it. Later on the Holy Spirit will show me what message to link with it.
The leaf seemed to me to be a small representation, with all its veins looking like rivers or highways between mountain ranges, to be like all the choices of paths we have in our earthly bodies. We may choose, because God has given us free will, to go down any road we desire even if it is away from Him. But listening to that still, small voice may lead us to the moose at the side of the road around the corner! (See a previous posting of that moose!)
The butterflies I photographed on the morning leaves and flowers spoke to me of rebirth. The caterpillars submitted themselves to the cocoon in order to become new creations. Did either know what they would look like at their coming out? Did they know there would be a coming out so beautiful? Is it just to be dismissed as science of what caterpillars instinctively do? Perhaps it is God, in his creation, giving us a glimpse of his nature and wisdom in our own becoming. He wants to transform us and give us beauty for ashes as we submit to him.
Man is given the capacity to have a relationship with his creator. Yet, scripture says the rocks will cry out if we don't. I have great expectancy that there will be many more divine appointments with my camera. I just don't know what roads to turn down until I get there and listen. Believe me, there have been times when I haphazardly started down a path and the Holy Spirit told me to turn around. It seemed benign at the time, but I believe I was being directed out of the path of danger.
Great dread and disappointment often follow expectations. Great anticipation and joy likely accompany expectancy. I know in my heart that whatever circumstances I find myself in, God loves me and never leaves me.
His love endures forever, never-ending!