A sight for sore eyes (25-06-20)
So we don’t look at the troubles we see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
On Sunday, Fathers’ day, we visited Clumber Park for a walk through the grounds. Part of the ancient forest of Sherwood, the extensive 3,800 acres of National Trust parkland include a large lake surrounded by woodland. Our trail took us around the circumference of the lake, a distance of about 5 miles, through the mixed woodland.
We found ourselves walking through dark and light.
Some mature trees with a wide spread of dense foliage stifle any growth underneath. Here, the bare earth reflects the absence of light and vegetation. Elsewhere we passed the stark profile of dead trees, which jut upwards into the air that they once breathed.
But where the tree canopy allowed sunlight to invade, glades of new life glistened underneath. Saplings of all ages were establishing their foothold amongst the ferns, and seizing a place in the changing landscape.
An undergrowth of mixed fortunes. Yet when we viewed the forest across the lake, the sight was one of pure beauty. Somehow the mix of growth and failure combines to create a wonderful assembly of colour, shape and scale.
It reminded me of Pilgrims Progress. Christians experience much through their earthly life. The joyous moments are often forgotten during endurance of bitter illnesses and loss of loved ones. Our 'here and now' perspective can become consumed by the pain of this world.
But when we look out beyond the undergrowth, we realise that we are also part of the beautiful landscape. The local challenges we face do not jeopardise our place in that landscape. We are part of something really beautiful. We will live forever, and may expect with confidence the joy of being a part of heaven with our loving God.
Surely a sight for sore eyes, if we can just lift them up to the outlook beyond.
Dear Lord Jesus,
When the world around us feels uncomfortable and unkind,
help us to lift our eyes to you,
that we may see the destiny brought by our faith,
and enjoy your peace, now and forever.