A Picture Worth Taking

The red arch out of the sandstone coastline

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (Matt 6:26-27 NIV)

Our visit to Darnley, PEI wasn't exactly accompanied by exceptionally good weather. We had to set up camp in a downpour, and though the rain cleared enough to allow us to visit some of the area in the afternoon, the sun continued to play hide-and-seek and our jackets were still required.

We went to bed hoping for improved meteorological conditions. After all, we'd been on the island for 5 days already, and the weather still hadn't cooperated enough to allow us to enjoy one of the primary reasons for visiting PEI: Its miles of beautiful, red beaches! But morning brought more menacing-looking clouds and cool temperatures. We still wouldn't be able to enjoy the island to its potential!

Unfortunately we had already done all of the "non-beach" activities that we had planned for this area, and since the boys had their minds set on building a much-anticipated red sandcastle, we decided that a few hours in the sand wouldn't hurt them. Though they made quite the sight, traipsing to the beach in their coats and swimsuits, the inclement conditions didn't seem to faze them in the least.

I tried to stay with them, but the "cold, Nordic" winds passed right through me, chilling me to the bone and sending me retreating to the tent-trailer.

"Are you sure you don't want to go back to camp with me?" I asked my sand builders.

"Why papa?"

"Uhh-Doesn't the wind bother you guys?"

"What wind?"

Oh these youthful, present day pioneers, willing to boldly face whatever elements are thrown their way to accomplish their endeavors!

I did venture back down to the beach from time to time, just to check on them, and each time I noticed that the wind was gradually becoming less threatening. Finally the sun defeated its useless cloud cover and broke free, bringing with it a welcome rise in temperature. While my wife and I welcomed the chance to warm our frozen body parts, the boys abandoned their sand castle for a dip in the ocean!

When it was finally warm enough for me to stay at the water's edge, I began to take note of my surroundings. Way off to my right, I could see a peculiar rock formation that looked as if the Atlantic Ocean had carved a red arch out of the sandstone coastline. Driven by curiosity, I took my camera and set out to explore this unknown territory. It took several minutes of hiking to bring me to this particular section of the beach, but as I stood admiring this natural feat of architecture, God showed up:

"Look at the power of the ocean that I created," He whispered. "I carved that beautiful arch through its means!"


"Now watch the seagulls. They don't worry where they will find their next food morsel. I provide for them. And look at the waves all around you. Their strength could overturn any ship!"

"True," I admitted.

"Then why do you let your circumstances overwhelm you?"


"You know what I'm talking about. The problems that were keeping you from sleeping all those months before this trip."

I sheepishly nodded my head. Yes, I remembered . . .

"Trust Me, child! I am above your circumstance." Then He asked me to make an interesting comparison: "How do your circumstances contrast with these majestic waves?"

"They are pretty insignificant," I confessed.

"Remember this the next time trials come your way. I will always be there for you. I am bigger than your circumstances. You have nothing to be afraid of. I will be your guide in all things."

I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace and gratitude, and without even thinking about what I was doing, I began to praise God.

"Share this message with others," He said. "I care for my children and nothing is too difficult for Me. I am there for them as well. Circumstances are transient, but I am everlasting."

Is it any wonder that I returned to camp revived and filled with energy? All weariness had left me, and I looked forward to what awaited me on the following days. It had truly been a picture worth taking!

The message is so true. Why worry when we have a friend like God? He says: "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jer 31:3 NIV); "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Matt 8:27 NIV); and "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Rom 1:20 NIV)

David confronted many impossible trials: "My enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall." (Ps 13:4 NIV). He didn't let his circumstances overwhelm him, however. He put his trust in our loving Heavenly Father instead: "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me." (Ps 13:5-6 NIV)

God is above our circumstances. Let's try to view them from God's perspective, and they will seem surprisingly immaterial. "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Heb 13:5-6 NIV)

Rob Chaffart

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