It is so easy to get lost in our despair. We feel sorry for ourselves, we begin to think negatively and we depress ourselves and those around us. Keith Wagner, in his book,
“Who Said Loving Others was Easy,” shared this story. When Christopher Columbus was sailing to the new world his hired sailors were threatening mutiny. The voyage was long and hard and there was no land in sight for weeks. We can understand this and are so easily discouraged. But the story didn’t end there. One day Columbus saw an encouraging sign. Floating on the ocean swells was a small tree branch. The branches’ leaves were green, indicating that land could not be far away. The green branch gave the sailors enthusiasm and a renewed hope. Soon after its discovery land was sighted from the sailor in the crow’s nest.
I often think of Noah and how tough it must have been to stay in that Ark for so very long, and really not knowing when or what they would encounter. But, then the dove brought back a twig with green leaves; a sign of life and hope. Mr. Wagner went on to write, “When all seems hopeless God has a way of surprising us and being present, even in the loneliest places. It is not God who is absent but we who have ceased to believe in a God who loves us more than we love ourselves.”
We should not ever forget that God is with us and for us and Paul reminds in Romans 8:31. We are not created to look at the negative, God created us in His image and we have Him with us and for us. Just now as I prepare to go through back surgery, it has been easy for me to head down that negative road, but I am thankful for you and your prayers, encouragement and reminders that we are not alone or unprepared – we are in the hands of a mighty God and He has sent us many green leaved reminders, just to show us His love and grace!
Pastor Michael Tunnell