I recently went on a trip to Niagara Falls. This was my first time seeing this beautiful, powerful sight. I of course had my camera in hand the whole time. Can you believe I took over 600 pictures?!
Anyway, as I was looking through my camera lens, I felt as if God was showing me some things. This happens to me alot when I'm out in His beautiful creation...
So one of the highlights of the trip was definitely riding on The Maid of the Mist! The falls are beautiful, but getting up close enough to feel the power of all that water...well, I have no words....well maybe just a few ;)
Before going on this ride, we stood safely up on solid ground and watched the boats go back and forth for awhile....
I also watched as people decided to get in line and go on the boat.... some went alone, some went with people they knew. There were all types of people from all over the world ( we heard many foreign languages spoken there).... Even though the boats are full, each person is having their own personal experience and feelings during the ride...fear...joy...awe...excitement...
I also know that as much as I am enjoying watching others take these steps, I cannot know what it is like unless I go myself....
I have pretty much made the decision, at this point, to go on the boat.... but as I am watching, I notice that some are not putting on the protective blue ponchos... I've seen, however, how wet people are when they walk off of the boat.... and I'm carrying my precious camera equipment, so I have already decided to put on the protective poncho.
OK, now I am down in the line to actually get on the boat, as I look up to the platform where I had been safely watching others, I notice that it looks like a cross to me. This reminds me that much like riding the elevator down to this experience, I also had a moment in life where I came to the cross....I chose to leave my "old self" behind and come through washed by the blood of Christ....I also realize that many people come to the cross, and for whatever reason, walk on by... refusing to be changed....a sad thought.
So here we go....I put on my poncho and think of how we should always put on the armor of God...but sometimes we choose to go through this life without it and rely on our own strength....this usually leaves us looking a mess and tossed by the waves of life.
See the front of the boat how it looks like a cross? This reminds me of how if we look, we can see God's presence anywhere, and when things get rough, we can fix our eyes on Him.
Hey! There is one of the places I had been standing, taking in the beauty, but not yet experiencing the ride for myself....much like in life, at times we stand on the sidelines, which is fine sometimes...it is there we get a different perspective, but hopefully we eventually jump in and experience the life God has planned for us.
As we got closer to the powerful falling water, I could see what was coming, I could feel the wind and the mist, I could hear the roar. The ride was getting rougher and I found myself gripping the hand rail much tighter. I was completely out of control of the situation. I had to rely on the guy steering the boat, the poncho to keep me (and my cameras) as dry as could be expected....and of course, God that he would bring us safely back to shore :)
During these two shots, my camera was protected by the blue poncho. I held the plastic tight across the lens hoping that something would show up, and you can see the falls, just not clearly. This is kind of like life too....we can't always see where life is taking us, but if we trust in the One who sees the whole picture, we can trust in His faithfulness....This also reminds me of the scripture in I Corinthians that tells us that our understanding here on earth is like looking through a glass darkly...but one day we will see clearly.
I couldn't take pictures during the roughest wettest part of the ride, but I will NEVER forget it. It was scary, thrilling, breathtaking, wonderful! It's kind of like coming out on the other side of a struggle in life, you feel all of the emotions and physical effects of going through it....but you look back and see what God brought you through and how God can turn even negative experiences into something beautiful....
As we got off of the ride, I thought about the people who had chosen NOT to put the poncho on....the storm of water had just pelted them....We ALL go through life....both rough waters and calm....I feel sad for those who choose not to take the free gift of salvation and protection of God's faithful hand.
I hope that as you read this, you have chosen to clothe yourself with the waterproof protection of Christ to go through the ever changing current of life.
Love and Blessings,
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