Our backyard was teeming with life this morning! When I was about to take Fiver out after helping Piper with her breakfast, I paused and glanced over our large yard. There were little birds flying around, black birds pulling unknown delicacies out of the grass and three bunnies munching on the leafy weeds that spring up when the lawn gets a little high. When we stepped out onto the deck, Fiver paused to look over the neighbor’s yard to our left and immediately made a dash down the stairs to the lawn… dragging me behind him!
At the same moment he took off, two squirrels literally flew down one of the pine trees next to the property line and quickly scampered off in the opposite direction. Then off to my left I heard the familiar “Plop, Plop!” as two of the three little green frogs that call our pond home, leaped from the the sunny rocks into the water in response to our sudden appearance!
I couldn’t help but smile after we returned to the house and I stood once more at the screen door simply soaking in the views and sounds that encapsulated my eyes and ears. Again and again I am reminded of the goodness of the Lord as I view our surroundings here in North Carolina. He knows just what we need… when we need it! I may have had a difficult time getting Piper ready for the day an hour before that moment at the window, but the trauma and concern that it produced suddenly disappeared in the midst of the peaceful beauty that is our home and property here in the northeast quarter of the Hector’s Creek Township within Harnett County.
But not all the critters that are out and about are as fun to be near as those that came into our yard this morning… As I was talking to Piper’s nurse yesterday afternoon as she gave Piper her weekly checkup (all her vitals’ continue to look steady and strong…), she mentioned that she was a little anxious about her next appointment as the patient had mentioned to her that they had spotted a snake in their house… again! I guess this has happened before!
She, like me, is not a fan of snakes! I told her that Piper would probably enjoy seeing the critter… Piper was always braver than me when it came to slithering reptiles! In trying to comfort her, I told her that the good news was that according to the description of the snake, it was most likely a rat snake which are common in the area. I have heard that they are good to have around as they control the rat and mouse population… AND that they are harmless to humans! I had actually seen a program on North Carolina woodlands where the Naturalist being interviewed was handling a rat snake while telling of their virtues!
But you know… my encouragement to her didn’t do me a bit of good last night as I tip-toed through the dark house on the way to the kitchen. As soon as I stepped from the lighted bedroom into the darkened hall way, I immediately started thinking about black snakes in the house! By the time I got to the kitchen though, I had begun to have a different view on things. With each careful step I took, I started thinking about the protection scriptures that Piper and I claim over ourselves, our property and our family every day. So, just as quick as the potentially fearful thoughts came upon me, the vision of God’s protection – that we actively claim – outshined any ridiculous lie of the enemy of our souls!
The same thing happened to me over the last weekend. While I was preparing dinner one night, I glanced over to Piper and thought: “She just doesn’t look that good tonight!” At that particular moment in time she was weak, pale and quite lethargic. But as I considered the view before my eyes and began to pray for the Lord’s directions, I rapidly changed my perspective while the view of the truth of His Word began to fill my soul. So, before I uttered any words that mimicked what she looked like, I began to speak out how the scriptures like Psalm 91:16, 103:3, 107:20, Matthew 8:17, I Peter 2:24 and 3 John 1:2 view my wife!
As I think about all this this morning, I am reminded of the many lighthouses that dot the North Carolina shoreline. We have a large poster of the six famous lights that have protected ships for hundreds of years. While there are hundreds of ship wrecks in the waters off our coast, there are thousands of others that were saved over the years by those beacons of light that shone through the night skies to guide them through, the dangerous shoals that line the entrance to our rivers, the storms at sea, the canon fire that rained down from the earthworks forts that doted the coastline during wars including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. And then there are the confusing and ever-changing currents, obstructions, winds and other dangers that come with navigating around the barrier islands and through the Outer Banks areas that soon became known as “The graveyard of the Atlantic.”
The Psalmist speaks to my heart in Psalm 119:105 when he prays “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path,” (God’s Word ©) or as The Message paraphrase puts it, “By your words, I can see where I’m going; They throw a beam of light on my dark path.”
Not to sound like a broken record… but I don’t know how I could have made it through all the traumatic events of the last ten years with our battle for my wife’s health… or for what the future may hold for us… without a constant vision or view of the Word of God ever before my eyes. 2 Samuel 22:30-31 also tells of the goodness of the Lord and His Word declaring: “You help me defeat armies and capture cities. Your way is perfect, Lord and your word is correct. You are a shield for those who run to you for help.” (CEV)
I love the peace, comfort and strength that the words “perfect” and “correct” bring to me in the midst of trying times. PERFECT and CORRECT… would you agree? Is that your view when trouble arises?
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Whose PERFECT and CORRECT ways am I expecting to fill my view today?”