Trouble that is not there

My friend, may I ask you a question? When trouble does threaten us and the horizons of life appear dark and foreboding, do you picture Jesus on the stormy shore or are you looking over your shoulder at nothing at all?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

How often we see things dimly sometimes, only to confront something altogether different than what we thought we saw in the first place.

Here’s a story. Not long ago I was awakened early, much earlier than I normally venture out in the morning. As it was June and the days begin and end less thriftily than any other time of the year, the sun was already promising day even though the clock on my bedside table belied that altogether. I put on my walking clothes and shoes and ventured out despite the fact that my time to walk was yet an hour or so away. My day was destined to begin before I had planned and the best would have to be made of it.

The night mists were still on the fields above the valley and the Barred Owl in the twin oaks beyond had not yet tucked head under wing for the day. As I approached his perch he eyed me warily, almost as if to ask “why” the walker was so early on this particular day. In a moment I was past and he was back to contemplating the day’s sleep ahead. As I approached the Rock Creek which marked my usual halfway point and turnaround toward home, I spied what appeared to be two figures walking on the ridge beyond the creek and farther down the road than I would be walking. I stopped and turned, peering into the climbing mists, almost certain that they were moving. Yet, as my eyes strained to focus on them I couldn’t tell whether they really moved or not. The more I strained to see, the less I knew of what I saw. Needless to say, the second half of my walk was a bit more brisk than the first as I more or less hightailed my way back toward home with an occasional glance over my shoulder.

The following morning, walking at my usual time and as I approached that same creek and ridge, I chanced to look up and scan that same horizon that had seemed so threatening just a day earlier. I spied no one but I did chance to Mrs. Foerster’s windsock waving in the distance as well as two old saw bucks stacked neatly in her neighbor’s yard just a few feet beyond. The mists were gone and my eyes were opened to what really rested beyond my immediate gaze. I laughed to myself as I turned homeward. How could I have mistaken these harmless things for something potentially dangerous in the first place. But for the hour and the mists I might have know the truth and been comforted.

It’s easy to lose direction in life when what we see as dire is merely an illusion created by our own inability to see the problem for what it really is. In the light of a new day, when the mists of night have completely fled and that old owl in the twin oaks is resting, things usually look and seem a whole lot clearer to me. The fact is that all it takes is a little ray of sunshine to bring things into perspective. The fact is also that most of the bad things in life, when exposed to a little bit of Gospel light, have a tendency to turn out the same way––merely two old saw bucks masquerading on a hill and nothing more. When trouble does threaten us and the horizons of life appear dark and foreboding, picture Jesus on the stormy shore. No sense in looking over your shoulder for trouble that isn’t there.

We pray. Heavenly Father, teach us to trust in you and put our fears to rest. Life is full of problems and sorrows, some which give us pause, and others that stop us in our tracks. Forgive us when we forget that you are always there on the shore of our lives, even when our lives are filled with larger than life problems and sorrows. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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