"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

18 March 2009


Shaver Pond
Grafton Lake State Park
March 2009

I went hiking for the first time this year, last Saturday, with a very good friend of mine. We have been friends since 1987 and although we now attend different churches, we remain close friends. (thanks, Kathy!!). She is fortunate enough to live in a house that is literally next door to the main entrance of this state park, pictured above. Inside this particular park are 3 ponds. This one is where my husband and I first initiated our kayaks last year. It is desolate, clear and calm.
Of course, shown here, most of it is still under ice. As were the trails!

It was different walking in the woods, on a trail, in winter's end. (I usually only hike mid-April through beginning of November). The temps were rather warm here at my suburban home when I left that a.m. Temps were in the high 50's. When I got out there, it was more like mid-40's. The sun quickly warmed us, though, and we were dressed in wool sweaters and fleece so were quite comfortable. It is not hard hiking. In fact, my daughters would be bored by hiking these trails as they really are more like nature trails. They are not challenging at all but it made for a very nice day, particularly because there was still the ice and snow to contend with in spots.

It was different, too, because typically when I hike, the woods are dark due to the foliage and overgrowth. But...the trees are all still bare here in NYS...at least in the Capital Region! I am just starting to see a couple of buds on my cherry trees here at home but the trees in the woods are all bare, brown branches. Empty, even, of nests and most birds. (we did hear a chickadee so that gave us the promise of spring!).

Anyways....as I was strolling through one part of the woods that usually is very dark when the trees are covered with leaves, I realized just how beautiful it is with the sun shining through those bare branches and how warm the sun was making us. It was a new experience for me.
I was enjoying the way the light played over the snow and ice and made shadows from the trees and rocks. I wish I had taken more pictures, but like I said, the walking was a bit treacherous due to the ice, so I didn't take the camera out much.

The way the light was coming through the trees that day reminded me of how Jesus' Light shines towards us. He is gentle when He needs to be. Just like the sun was a gentle sun that day. Now, I have been hiking on super hot days in August, up in the Adirondacks, where the sun seems to just beat down on me relentlessly. It is on days like that, that I love the dark wooded areas of the trail, because it is in those trees where I find relief. The sun does not feel "gentle" on those hot, humid August days!

But this day, call it late winter or early spring, was just pleasant. Yes, there was a slight chill to the air. Yes, the trees were kinda boring in their barrenness. But there was a beauty there that I don't usually see.
Light playing on shadows. Jesus shines His Light on us when we are in the shadows of circumstances, doesn't He? If we allow His Light to penetrate to our hearts, our "barrenness" will be filled with His presence, His Spirit.

Sometimes we might be "blind" to something in our character or attitudes. We need the Light of His Love to show us the way to turn. Or to repent. Or to trust Him more. Just like I was trusting that walking stick to help guide me on that slick sun-kissed ice, I have to trust my Redeemer to go before me and guide me on the right path of my life. To allow His Light to shine through to any darkness in my heart.

Allow God to shine His Light on you. He wants to guide you. He wants you to give over any "barrenness' you might have (spiritually speaking) and allow His Son to shine on you.
Just like that sun is shining on those barren trees outside.
And when you allow Him to shine His Light, you will begin to bloom...your soul will no longer be barren.
Let His Light shine!
"I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the Light of Life." John 8:12

please note: i haven't forgotten that some of you want the definitions of the 4 viewpoints regarding the Holy Spirit today. I am awaiting word from my pastor's wife (sent an email) as to whether I have permission to copy it from the sermon notes. Please be patient! :)


Persuaded said...

what an inspirational post... i too am in upstate ny so i "get" a lot of what you were alluding to regarding this transitional time between winter and spring.

God is good♥

e-Mom said...

Nice reflections! Beautiful shots too.

I love hiking in the snow, and snowshoeing--especially when it's bright and sunny! :~D

Susanne said...

Lovely, uplifting post, Faith.

tali said...

beautiful pics Faith. You're very blessed to able to do this. I am sitting here with a cup of coffee (just needed one!), late at night on a warm sydney night, kids are asleep, hubby watching tv. Nice to be able to relax and catch up with you. Have an awesome weekend!

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Love the pictures Faith....so peaceful! Wish I was there hiking with you. :)
Great analogy to being a light and letting God's light shine through us. Great reminder for me while I am at school checking blogs during my lunch break. :)

Connie Marie said...

Great write Faith!
I like your illustrations/lessons taken from your walk in the sunny, bare woods!