Our Visit to the Lake
This summer has been great, much better than that of the past covid-infested ones. Knowing it would not last forever, we decided to take advantage of the season to refresh our spirit, soul, and body. So, we jumped into a car and drove kilometers to one of the beautiful lakes in Alberta, called Wabamun Lake. The weather was great, and the gentle breeze that welcomed us into the park lifted our spirits. Who were We? We were friends who wanted to spend some time together in prayer and fellowship, sharing kindness and love through the love of Christ.
We arrived at Wabamun, bringing surprise gifts to share with strangers that come our way. Gradually, people started coming, and shortly everywhere was filled with people, from children to seniors. People were not afraid to talk to one another and play together regardless of their status.
On our part, we started with hiking. Unlike Jasper and Banff, we weren’t worried about bears or some wild animals. Our hearts were more focused on the greatness of God as we walked among nature which reflected the majesty of our dear Lord. There we poured our hearts to God in praise worship and presented our petitions before Him. God’s signature was written all over the places as the trees stood tall in their beauty, and grasses lay low in the calmness of the forest. The birds flew from one branch to the other filling the air with their melodious music. Connecting with God in such a cool and calm environment was easier than anyone could imagine. The experience reminded us of a song written by Stuart K Hine, “O Lord My God When I in Awesome Wonder”:
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder, consider all the works thy hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed;
When Through The Woods, And Forest Glades I Wander, And Hear The Birds Sing Sweetly In The Trees. When I Look Down, From Lofty Mountain Grandeur And Hear The Brook, And Feel The Gentle Breeze.
Then Sings My Soul, My Saviour God, To Thee, How Great Thou Art! How Great Thou Art! Then Sings My Soul, My Saviour God, To Thee, How Great Thou Art! How Great Thou Art!
Our next move was to find a place to sit for the next activity. After searching, we settled under a cool shade among the trees and green grasses. It was natural for us to reflect on the faithfulness of our God in our life. Our wants and desires often obstruct a grateful heart that we forget to thank God for all His goodness in our life. A songwriter wrote: “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done! Count your blessings, name them one by one *And it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.
As each of us brought in something to eat, we had more than we could finish. For a balanced day, we included sports activities. While we were eating, a couple of young ladies and a young man walked past us, and we greeted them. From there, we delved into a conversation that led us into asking those beautiful youngsters if they believe in God. One of them quickly replied, and I paraphrase: ‘no, I don’t really believe in God. I know I used to follow my parents to church when I was younger, but I didn’t understand what was really going on there. Right now, I am trying to find my own faith”. Her smiling, sincerity was great. I had been in her shoes before. My Mom, blessed memory, just wanted to plant God into our life by force. She would always drag us to the church. Whenever my mother prayed and any of us children dozed off, we would get a painful pinch. I would always get that pinch because her prayer time was always too early for us as children. So, I started staying far away from her each time she was leading prayers because I knew what was coming. In that church, I had no idea what was going on. I just followed our dedicated mother to attend the services. But the mother was so happy that she could bring her children to the presence of God. Every God-fearing parent desires godly children. And what would be the joy of any godly parent? “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” 3 John 1:4. So, mothers are doing their best in the best way they know.
Let me quickly drop this for parents reading this, never give up on praying for your children. Those seeds of prayers will germinate in their life one day. Back to our short-term friends. We shared our past experiences with them, including how Jesus found us, rescued us from our sins, purged us from our self-management, and transformed our life. At the end of our interaction with them, they found peace with Christ and willingly gave their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, beaming with hope and joy as they went on their way. Praise God.
Hope in Hopelessness
To have more fun, we headed towards the lake area. On our way, we noticed something, a fallen tree. Everything about that tree was scraped to the ground. For one reason or other, it was decked to its visibly lowest level. Dried and hopeless in appearance but made perfect for smooth stepping. Against all odds, that tree budded. It brought forth stems and flushed in its resilience. I wonder how many legs had passed over that grounded tree. But still, it regained life and began to sprout.
Situations happen in life. Sometimes, we feel high, other times, we find ourselves inside our boots. Our actions and reactions at such a critical time would determine the extent of our recovery and victory. Just like the tree grew its roots to remain connected to its source of life, those that retain their relationship with God will never run out of mercy in adversity. That is why we must consider God in all things.
While hatred and bitterness hurt their bearers, love and kindness refresh souls and spirits. As we shared the little gifts we had prepared, smiles and joy became contagious. There is enough stress in our world already, more kindness is needed. A songwriter wrote:
Show a little bit of love and kindness, Never go along with hatred blindness Take a little time to reach for joy and wear a happy face. Sing a little bit when the days are dreary, Give a little help to a friend who’s weary. That’s the way to make the world a happy place.
If a stranger could walk to us with a present, how much more God who “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”?
When we gave out the last package, we knew it was time to drive back home. Now we are ready for the winter.