Clearly, this is a picture of an epic mountain man and his beautiful wife, trekking across the mountains, encountering perils unknown. This must have been a rare moment of peace where they could get a picture taken.
Or, it is my wife and I taking a wonderful vacation in Montana a couple of summers ago...I prefer the first interpretation.
Now, I don’t share this picture to take you on a journey of slideshows where you continue to nod politely at each family photograph. I share this picture, to tell you of a story that happened on this trip.
We were visiting family that lives a little south of Glacier national park, and one day, they took us tubing down one of the clear mountain rivers. Just an incredible ride; floating along this stream that was perfect for trout fishing.
The highlight of this day (and honestly the trip for me) was when we had finished tubing, and my father in law and aunt in law were strapping the tubes to the top of the car. The rest of the family, about 5 of us, were all standing in a circle chatting a little ways behind the car.
Suddenly, two cars pull off the road, the guy driving the first car, looked like his eyes were about to pop out of his head, and yelled “did you guys see that bear?”
I quickly reply with “What!?” (you should know, it is a life goal of mine to see a bear in the wild)
The person in the second car, responded at this point, “Yeah guys, there was a black bear that just ran across the road right there!”
He points to a spot about 30 yards or so from where we are standing, and at this point I start to get really excited.
“It looks like he ran into the woods just behind you, so be careful guys!”
And with still astonished faces, the two cars drove away. I thought I might finally have my chance of seeing a bear, but alas, he never came out of the woods again while we were in the area.
The whole family was shocked that no one saw the bear, but we weren’t paying attention, and we missed an incredible opportunity!
On the bright side, we now have a great story of a bear encounter; even though nobody actually saw the bear.
Incredible things, happen around us all the time. Occasionally we get to witness them, and sometimes we may be completely unaware of there presence.
If it hadn’t been for the folks warning us that a bear was close, we would have had no idea that one just ran behind us.
It makes me wonder of all the times I didn’t see something incredible, and no one was there to tell me about it either.
It’s like the secret hand of God, always moving in our life. Occasionally, his hand is very clear in the actions in our life, and sometimes he may do so many wonderful things for us, and we never even notice.
I write all of this, to simply bring awareness to the continued working of God in our lives. That we may not take it for granted, but praise him in thankfulness, even for what we are not aware of.
Psalm 106:1-2 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?
(this is how I imagine the bear...that I didn’t see)