I hate having to wake up early in the morning in order to travel. More often than not it ruins the rest of my day, with my body & mind both disoriented and rebellious. This morning began no different. It was just a little after 6:00 AM when we set out, and the sun had just begun to rise over the mountains. But a few minutes into the drive down hill, and I was overwhelmed by God’s greatness. The road we were driving down had massive landslides from the recent rains left, right & centre. It saddened me to see the loss of property & the “ugliness” of the destruction and state of affairs, if you will. The poor locals headed to work in the tea estates had to travel by bus to one point, walk a distance over badly damaged road, and catch another bus at the other end.
However, as I looked beyond & over the steamy valleys below, a beautiful sight beheld my eyes. (Too bad I didn’t have the time to stop & take pictures, but I know those images will be forever engraved in my mind’s eye.) As I gazed at the stunning hues splayed across the early morning sky, I could not help but feel a glimmer of hope and thanks well up inside of me. I had to gulp down that familiar lump in my throat and hold back tears, even as I looked back on the year that has passed.
Just like my path this morning, my life’s path had been forcibly altered and it hadn’t been easy. I had known the new path ahead would be long and winding, but little had I expected it to have as many pitfalls of it’s own. This past year, of all my years so far, would have been the most convenient for me to simply look at my circumstances and get discouraged, angry at God, and grow increasingly fearful of what the future would hold. But all it took was for me to take the focus off of myself and my immediate path, to look beyond into the awesome beauty that God had surrounded me with, and to know that He had promised beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The God who displayed His power, majesty and glory over the loss, sadness and fear around me this morning is the same God who has carried me through my hardest times and been my strength in my weakness, particularly this last year. All I can say in return, is “Thank you, Lord!” as I lay down my life once more for Him to take, use, mould, form… transform into a masterpiece for His glory.
(These simple lines came to me as we rode down, and they express my thoughts this Thanksgiving:)
As the sun rises o’er the mountains,
The mist akin to a sea
A melody wells up in my soul,
A song of thanks to Thee.
For memories and times gone by,
For the future yet to be,
For all You’ve giv’n and done thus far,
And what’s in store for me.
Take my life and use me Lord,
I come on bended knee;
A vessel fit and for His fame,
This is my only plea.