My wife and I went out back late yesterday afternoon to toss the ball to the dog and enjoy the balmy winter weather that we have been experiencing lately. I wheeled Piper out into the middle of the yard so she could catch the last vestiges of the sun before it sank below the row of tall trees in the distance next to our neighbor’s home. After running around the yard and laughing at the dog’s funny antics and athletic abilities while chasing, jumping after and retrieving the ball, I finally pulled up a chair next to my wife and just sat for a while in quiet solitude.
I recently purchased a new set of binoculars that are actually twice as powerful as the last pair I bought many years ago. The new ones have a tripod adapter which really helps the “shaky hand” syndrome when observing distant objects. I had the binoculars with me as we sat in the yard and was enjoying watching the high flying jets that gave away their quiet presence by the contrails behind them. Then I came back to earth when I heard scampering noises coming from the bushes that press against a good portion of our fence line.
Fiver also heard the noises and quietly loped up to the fence with the hair on his back beginning to rise! As I studied the mostly brown, dormant bushes, I suddenly caught a splash of bright red in my peripheral vision. When I lined up the binoculars I was treated to the close up sight of a beautiful red cardinal. This particular bird had bright yellow patches on either side of his head that seemed to be holding on the black mask that surrounded his eyes.
After unknowingly performing for me as he must have thought that he was hidden behind the branches, he hopped away and was replaced on the stage of the bushes by another red cardinal a few moments later. This gentleman was similar to the first one only without the yellow patches… Well this went on for a while as I enjoyed the warm weather and the quiet of the afternoon broken only by the distant whistle of a freight train as it moved down the tracks near the front of our neighborhood on its way to the yard in our little town of Fuquay-Varina (population of around 19,000).
One of the things that caught my attention besides the realization that I was actually enjoying the ability to take the time to enjoy the peace in our beautiful surroundings, but also how God provided the wonderful vibrant red colors of those special little birds in the midst of the dull brown and grays that filled our view with the dormant bushes, trees and lawn. Isn’t that just like God to provide a little bit of color into our lives when times seemed to be without the uplifting colors of joy and hope in one’s current set of circumstances?
We had the pleasure of fellowshipping with two chaplains yesterday and among many subjects, we talked about how wonderful it is to see that Papa God always seems to send the right people to surround us with His love, remind us of His faithfulness and share just the right Word and the right time! As I look back over the last few years I can see Him having done that over and over again for my wife and I… including yesterday’s visit.
It was after they had left that we went out into the back to enjoy the afternoon. And it was then that I was again reminded of His goodness and faithfulness to us. I may not have all the answers and know exactly what God’s plans are for us in the coming months and years, but I do find solace in scriptures such as Deuteronomy 29:29 when Moses told the children of Israel that “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God…” (KJV)
What I do know is that He always has our best in mind and has always cared for us throughout our past and will continue to do so in our present and future. I look forward to seeing what vibrant colors He is planning to bring across our paths today… How about you? Have a great day today, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How am I expecting for God to color my life today?”