Focusing on Dead Trees

While hiking on Paris Mountain, Jason and I came to an open cliff that overlooked the countryside. Stretched out before us lay a valley of towering pines and mighty oaks, hemlock and rhododendron. In the distance, we could see buildings of different shapes and sizes, hazy, but still visible.

But as we surveyed the beautiful scene, we were shocked to realize that we were both focused on the same sight--one dead tree in the midst of the many living. It wasn't a large tree. In fact, compared to many of the trees, it seemed small and insignificant. But, for some reason, as we scanned our surroundings, that one dead tree caught our attention.

Isn't that the way it is with hard times in our lives? Most of the time, we're surrounded by good things--a beautiful scene. But when those trials arise, it seems like that's all we can focus on. They stand out in our lives just like that one dead tree stood out in the midst of the living. During these times, it's hard to see anything else, for no matter how hard we try, our attention keeps returning to the trial. It was for these times that God gave us Psalm 121.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. 

*****Excerpt from Random Ramblings of a Raving Redhead*****