By Marcia Laycock
For a time, the bush across from our house
was a blaze of gold and russet. When the sun
fell on it, the effect was startling, as the
colors seemed to glow. But the fall temperatures,
winds and rain are doing their damage; the trees
are losing their leaves. They are looking more
grey and dismal by the day as their colour is
stripped away. Soon there will be nothing but
barren tree trunks with the odd withered leaf
Just as darkness was falling last night, I
was looking out my kitchen window, thinking
how this time of year can be a bit depressing.
Then I noticed a twinkling through the branches.
The lights of the town below were coming on,
and because most of the leaves are gone, they
are showing through the trees. As I watched,
it became a delightful dance of light. This
morning I noticed, not the barren trees, but
the view emerging beyond them. With the foliage
disappearing, the river valley is emerging.
I can already see the main street. Soon the
river will be visible, and the bridge that connects
the two halves of the town. Soon I'll be able
to see it all.
There are times in our lives when it feels
like everything is being stripped away, when
there is no colour left, no joy in the day.
At these times it's hard to see the purpose
in what is happening, hard to find meaning in
it. But it is often during these hard times
that we gain new perspective and begin to see
what was hidden. When hard times come, all that
is superfluous is stripped away and what is
real, what matters, comes into focus. It is
often at such times that we are able to see
The Bible is peopled with those who were in
this situation; lepers cried out to Jesus, blind
men groped to be close to Him, the sick reached
out just to touch His robe, believing they would
be healed. Their hope came from a clear-sightedness
that resulted from being in barren places. When
all is stripped away, we have an opportunity
to shift our perspective and see what lies beyond.
It is an opportunity to reach out for God.
But we don't have to wait for that day. We
can gain that perspective at any time, simply
by seeking God with a whole-hearted earnestness.
One of His greatest promises is found in Matthew
7:7 - "Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find; knock and the door will
be opened to you." Not only that, but God
has also given us a helper. When Jesus left
this earth He promised to send His spirit to
guide and direct us. That same Spirit is available
to us today. He will help us to see what is
hidden, to see beyond the distractions of life
to what is real and important.
The trees might look beautiful but the view
beyond is magnificent.
is a pastor's wife, mother of three and a freelance
writer. She has won awards for her devotionals,
fiction and poetry. She writes from a small
town in Alberta, Canada. Her new devotional
book, Focused Reflections has just been released.
Visit Marcia's website at www.vinemarc.com
to order or subscribe to her e-mailed devotional,