When life is hard and challenges strike from every direction, it is easy to retreat, to hide from the fiery darts. May God give us the strength to resist such temptation and instead to face the storms head-on. The last few days have been very windy in Las Vegas. The ducks teach us a great lesson. They do not hide nor run. They hunker down with their heads toward the wind. Yes they tuck into a protective position, but they let nature’s contrary elements wash over them. The ducks know that more peaceful times will come.
It was on a high mountain that Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. While transfigured, Jesus’ face did shine as the sun, and a bright cloud overshadowed them from which Heavenly Father introduced His beloved son. This beautiful image from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area reminds me of the Mount of Transfiguration– a high mountain, bright as the sun, and an overshadowing cloud. In our daily walk, there are many symbols to help us remember Heavenly Father, His son and their great plan for us.
Lighthouses have played an important role in the safety and commerce of sea-bound vessels. This small lamp in the Yaquina Head lighthouse on the Oregon coast seems unimpressive. Yet, with the help of fresnel prism technology, the reach of this tiny lamp is magnified and can be seem from ships that are 20 miles out to sea!
Likewise, we may also feel that the light we can offer to the world is small and unimportant. But with the magnifying influence of God and His gifts in our lives, our small light can have an important and far-reaching influence. God is the “Fresnel Prism” in our lives. May we trust Him fully and allow his power to magnify our ability to do good.
Isaiah, chapter 61, teaches that through the Atonement of Christ the Lord can bring forth beauty from the ashes of our lives. As in all things, He teaches us these truths through symbols that are part of our everyday journey. I photographed the Las Vegas sunset at about 6pm three days ago. It was nearly dark outside. One photo was taken with normal exposure settings and the image was very dark without detail or color. But the image in this post was taken with a longer exposure of 30 seconds. This allowed the hidden gems of design and color in the sunset to become manifest. Indeed, the patience for setting up the longer exposure, and patience in digital processing, took this image from ashes to beauty. As we are patient in obedience to the Lord and as we allow Him to process our lives through trials and afflictions, He will indeed make the dark ashes of our lives beautiful, in this life and in the life to come.
Of the 100+ billion estimated souls that have lived upon the earth, it is miraculous that each and every person has a unique set of characteristics, tendencies and abilities. Each of us is a uniquely endowed spirit child of Heavenly Father. The doctrine of individuality is symbolically echoed to us in our daily walk. Every finger print has its own identity. The unique pattern of clouds in our sky each day is a singular masterpiece of design and color. Each of us is a creation of God, unlike any other. Each of us matters deeply to Him.