We all have a story to tell. Whether from humble beginnings or an immense wealth of knowledge and ambition. My story would definitely be described as the former. Though at times I wonder how God could use my simple faith to encourage others, I think it may be the simplicity of my faith that is so valuable and uplifting.
Without going into too much detail, one part of my story involves chronic digestive issues. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance back in 1999. Then in 2011 I had surgery to remove my stone-filled gall bladder, and have had problems with many foods ever since. This week I’ve been struggling through a nasty IBS flare-up that has my insides screaming and my head throbbing. My severely limited diet has been even more curtailed, leaving me tired and a bit frustrated. Thankfully, the Lord keeps me looking at the positives, like: “Hey, it helps me keep my girlish figure!”
Being among the trees and squirrels helps, too. Last night, after a particularly sticky summer day, I decided to stretch my legs and cool off by heading out for an evening walk in a nearby park. What began as the expression of my perennial awe of nature turned into yet another reminder of God’s purpose and care for me. (Apparently I need lots of reassurance!)
“Late Summer Evening”
The night affords a mystic beauty:
Towering trees shrouded in shadow,
Muted greens aglow from the city.
Gnarled shapes cast upon the meadow.
A hidden choir of crickets throng.
Heat of day now a balmy breeze,
Stars, like sequins, shimmer a song;
A wispy wind rustles the leaves.
Trunks and branches, tangled and dark
inspire this evening reverie.
A late summer stroll through the park
with nature and humanity.
Different perspective in moonlight:
Yet God sees me as if it’s day.
Comfort to know I’m in His sight
where the light and shade interplay.
© Ladeena Ashley
I love the way I feel in nature. Day or night, there’s always something to marvel at. But best of all, no matter where I am, God sees me – sees us – and loves us. His purpose and plan are perfect (Psalm 18:30)! We are all surrounded by the shadows (sin and pain) and light (God’s goodness and love), and He walks with us, strengthening us through all of it! When He looks at the world, all of the shadows and darkness are light to Him (Psalm 139:11-12). He sees us and knows us better than we know ourselves. We cannot run from His presence, but I, for one, would never want to. God has always been faithful to me, and He’s the only reason I’ve made it this far.
© Ladeena Ashley
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