I particularly enjoy the ambiance immediately after the rain disappears – the air so crisp one can snap it, the lingering of moody gray skies, and especially the puddles that scatter the streets. The sky’s beauty is mirrored by the water and is simply put, thrilling. What we ordinarily see and take for granted [the sky] we see in a totally new light through the reflective waters. When I pass them by, however, it is difficult not to be so riveted in what they display that I do not simply look up to the sky and embrace the real thing. The view shown by the ground is lovely, to be sure. But from it you cannot capture the heavens in its entirety. The rays of sunlight penetrating the mists to gently lay their light below, the pastel hues murmuring to one another, not to mention the occasional bird that swiftly cuts its way through the cool breeze.
The reflection cannot compare in the face of the real thing.
For me, it’s a sobering reminder that it’s easy for me to become ensnared by things that are not bad in themselves, but when indulged in with an erroneous, worldly perspective, threaten my most precious relationship with my Lord. Why?
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Everything, every added blessing that God bestows upon me is a gift, demonstrating His outpouring of grace on me: giving me so much more than I deserve, on top of the fact that He saved me from the wages of my sin – His holy wrath and eternal suffering, agony in hell. All this because of Christ’s death on the cross, and the resurrection showing His victory over death! ‘Tis a beautiful truth, but one so easily forgotten.
It can be so easy, so tempting to look at the gifts and be content for a time, rather than rejoice in the Giver and live with a permanent joy that comes to those who have true peace. Gifts of family, friends, shelter, food, so much… are blessings. But they are by no means a substitute, not even an adequate substitute, for the relationship I have with my God. The temptation to believe that they are sufficient is something I will fight, with reliance on and through strength provided by my Father, for the rest of the days God ordains for me to live on this earth!
12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
I want to run this race without such encumbrances. To live life with thankfulness for what He has given; to gratefully receive and gladly let go. To Him be all the glory, Who created all of creation with His words and infinite power! As Dr. Alex Montoya said, the stamp of Christ is on every particle of every created thing – everything is His! God is sovereign, and deserving of all praise!
It is amazing to know that one day, when I die or Christ comes back, I will no longer have to worry about the sin I so abhor! Why? Christ won the war!
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Not only the sufferings, but also the joys! The things that make us “happy” for a time – our job, our education, our material possessions, our friends and family – are wonderful gifts from the Lord! But even these are but trifles, incomparable to the glory to come! And not only this, but our greatest joy of knowing God and having a personal, loving relationship with Him – that privilege is forever ours!
And so, I can peer in these water reflections in peace. The puddles reflect a face that will inevitably waste away with time. However, when I look up at the sky, I am joyfully reminded of the incredible glory that is to come!
Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful reminder!