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When Hope is Sometimes Forgotten

Sometimes God speaks to me in the most unusual ways. I don't expect it and I don't plan for it, I just get it. For me, at least, those are the best times and usually the ones I always refer to later on when I need to.

A few weeks ago I decided to spend the morning at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and explore some of the areas that I haven't been to before. Not that my usual hiking spots were not still great, they are; but Tosohatchee is huge and begs to be studied and this day at least I am eager to oblige.

Hiking for me is an event that keeps me in touch with nature and with this amazing creation that God has entrusted us. Perhaps that is why I am a nature photographer enthusiast. It gives me the opportunity to reflect and think about the many different things going on with my life, both outwardly and inwardly. Whether it be related to work, family, photography or spiritual matters, spending time “out there” on a hiking trail is a wonderful way to relax.

I made my way toward the St. Johns River and decided on one of the adjacent paths to begin my hike. I am not even sure of the trail name, I just know that I had to cross a wooden bridge to get to it. Like any hiking trail in Florida it offered much of the same. Brilliant green mosses shown on the trucks of trees, birds chattered and insects flitted to and fro. Thick Hammocks aligned the trail path often causing me to wonder how the Native Indians and early settlers cut through the thick underbrush back in their day. Ignoring the intense humidity I focused on my trek being careful to follow the trail markers remembering the one time I lost track of them and got very lost, but that is a whole different story.

Since I always have my camera with me I stopped occasionally to make a picture or two. Today’s menu included Orb Weaver Spiders and what I like to call, “Mini-Scapes”. Now you are probably wondering just what a Mini-Scape is. It is a small collection of subjects meant to give the viewer a rough Idea of what I am looking at. It can be moss on a palm stump or a patch of ferns…anything really. It was during this hike that I poured my heart out to God asking for help in my everyday walk.

Usually I pray and I generally wait quietly before He answers me; but this day He brought to mind my favorite Bible passage and it was like He was standing right in front of me, in the flesh as it were. I knew, immediately, that He had answered. My favorite verse? Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” I knew right then that I was too busy trying to figure out my own way and that I had taken my eyes off of Him and in doing so I found myself looking at everything other than God. Once I put my focus back on Him I know that everything will fall into place. Needless to say tears started to well up and I got that lump in my throat kind of feeling and I knew that He had answered my cry.

Jesus says that He will never leave not forsake me…how long before I let go and let Him guide and Shepherd me? It seems that this lesson is one that I always have to repeat. I imagine that He and I will have this conversation again sometime down the road…at least until I get to Heaven. Perhaps you are going through something in your life that you need God to handle. I would suggest that you simply tell Him. You will be surprised on His response.

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