A few weeks ago my wife and I drove down to a local lake to take some nature photos. When I snapped the photo at the top of this post there was something in it that I didn’t realize was there until a few days later. How I didn’t see it in the moment is a mystery to me, because what I saw after the fact is quite prominent in the photo. There are broken tree branches positioned in such a way that make the shape of three crosses.
When I saw this a number of thoughts came flooding to my mind. Most prominent of these thoughts was one of reassurance that God is in my and my wife’s current situation.
The past three and a half years have been full of loss and adversity for us.
In the spring of 2013 I found out that my father had cancer. The next several months were spent walking with him through his final days before his eventual passing in December of that same year.
Only six months later, in June of 2014, my brother passed away unexpectedly due to alcoholism.
The period of time from June, 2014 through July, 2015 gave us a bit of a break, and some time to heal from what had transpired in the previous year.
Then it happened again. Another loss. During 4th of July weekend, 2015, one of our dogs, who was a part of our family for about 7 years, developed a ruptured tumor in his abdomen, and we had to put him to sleep.
And then, only one month later, we received news that both my wife and I would either have to relocate to Michigan, to the main office of the company we both worked for, or lose our jobs. Unfortunately, we could not relocate, so we had to accept yet another loss.
For my wife, the end of her employment with this company occurred at the end of October, 2015. For me, after staying with the company on a temporary contract basis, the end of my employment occurred at the end of March of this year. My wife and I are still currently unemployed… still looking for that seemingly elusive job.
I don’t write this to seek sympathy or to whine and complain about this current season in life. My goodness, there are many others who are going through much, much worse than what we’ve been through, and are going through! Rather, I write this to give the backstory to why seeing the three crosses in this photo was so profound to me.
Through this season of the past three years, especially lately, with my wife and I still unable to find work, and finding positives to discover seemingly harder and harder to do, I have struggled seeing where God is working in all of this.
I know he’s there, I know he has never left. I believe that he is beside us fighting with and for us. I believe in the truth of Scripture where he promises that he will never leave us or forsake us, and that the Holy Spirit is always interceding for us.
There are times, however, such as this season, when that is a little more difficult to see. But that does not mean that God isn’t there, and that he is not working in my situation. He most certainly is!
So, when I looked at this photo a few days after I snapped it, and saw the crosses, I felt God reassure me. I sensed him speaking to my heart and telling me that even though I don’t see how he is working in our situation now, there will be a time when I clearly see how he was (is!) working.
In the meantime, until that becomes clear, I need to keep trusting, keep doing what I need to do to improve my situation, let go, and let God work out the rest of the details.
“The Lord will work out his plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” – Psalm 138:8 (NLT)