“May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.” Nehemiah 9:5-6 (NLT)
As often happens in my part of the country, Mother Nature sent us another winter surprise. The day before had been warmer and sunny, perfect for some in and out shopping and some outdoor games with my youngest grandchild. We went to bed that night exhausted from all the activity. I saw on the news a warning for a dense fog advisory but I figured it wouldn’t affect us and would be burned off by the time we rolled out of bed.
The next morning the fog was still lingering. Not enough to make it too difficult to see, but just enough for the colder weather to make it cling to the roads, the houses, and the trees with a wintery frosting. I was supposed to take my granddaughter back home that morning but was unsure of the road surfaces.
We cautiously ventured down the driveway and through the residential area. The road was a little slippery and I had to be extra careful on the turns and at the lights. I was tense and worried and all that stuff that happens when you have a precious life in your car. And thinking about the “what ifs.”
Meanwhile, the back seat was quiet, highly unusual for this particular grandchild. I glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw two huge blue eyes staring out the windows, a big smile on her face. A small voice piped up. “It’s like a winter fairyland Grandma!”
That statement opened my eyes and changed my attitude immediately. It WAS like a winter fairyland! Sparkling frost coated the roofs of the houses, the grass, and the trees. Signs and shrubs were covered in frosted white. The sun was a glowing orb visible through the fog-covered skies. Yes, it was a fairyland.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our concerns and our “what ifs” that we don’t even look for the good things in a situation. Maybe it’s that way for you as you pray for your mom or dad. Maybe you’ve been so busy looking at the problems and circumstances, that you haven’t been able to see the good things. Maybe they’re not home yet, but maybe, just maybe, they’re on the right path.
Have you had some small breakthroughs? Has dad or mom been calling more often? Have your parents’ words to each other been a little bit kinder? Have they showed up for an event that you didn’t expect them to? Have their words to you seemed kinder and more caring?
And what about you? Have you looked past the circumstances to see the blessings? Have you softened your attitude and forgiven a little more? Have your prayers changed from “bring them home” to “be with them on their journey?” Have you asked the Lord to love them, protect them, guide them, and save them?
I pray that you will make it a practice to seek out the good even in the bad. Focus on what God has done and is doing. Just like that frozen fog was bad for driving, the scenery it provided along our way was a blessing. We need to open our eyes to the beauty and wonder of God’s world, even in the fog all around us. He is always there for us, to love, guide, direct and protect. He cares for us and for our families. He loves us and our families and wants the best for us. And He loves to provide unexpected blessings along the way.
As we pulled onto the gravel road on the way home, the sun broke through the fog. As it lit up the sky, we could see little pieces of ice drifting among the cedars and pines, raining down from the sky like angel wings. We actually stopped for a long time to watch it and savor it. We both thanked the Lord for providing this beautiful blessing for us. And I wouldn’t have been able to see it if I hadn’t changed my attitude and taken the time to see the beauty instead of the fog.
O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska