Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus, John 13:34-35 NIV
At the end of time how we have loved is what will count, what will remain.
And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. -Jesus, Matthew 24:10-13 NLT
Don’t let your love grow cold. Let the Word of God help you endure against the waves of hate.
Glorious waves of grace
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects
I often think the scenes I try to capture and preserve in photos are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus splashes across His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it just is because God is good. Wave upon wave in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me––His glorious presence working for my good. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God. His goodness and love lavished freely upon His creation.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)
I need to continually remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that God is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can truly see, hear, and give thanks.
He knows all of our steps… not one is overlooked.
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps. Prov.16:9
With all the turmoil and strife in the world it is good to know the Lord determines our steps. All we need do is take another step trusting in Him.
There are times when music transports me to the gates of heaven (this last Sunday singing “Holy, Holy, Holy” during worship was such an occasion). That moment, of deep calling to deep, stirred me in a way, that I want to help others share its fullness. But, when I go to write it down, the words are sorely inadequate. So I resort to photography, hints of heaven in nature. But then the photograph I take never quite recounts my glimpse of heaven. Therefore, when you look at the following picture, play your most stirring music, smell the fragrance of the ocean after a rain, and meditate on: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) Then you may catch a glimpse of “Holy, holy, holy! The Lord God Almighty.”
Storm at Sea, photo by Stephen Hufman
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:39-41)
Sometimes in the midst of life’s storms, I forget who is in the boat with me. Thank you, Lord, that your power, sovereignty, and closeness are not dependent on my courage or understanding.