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In the midst of a chaotic time God blessed me with a visit by this beautiful Painted Bunting. I have been wanting to photograph one because they are so beautiful. The male looks like he ran through a paint store and tried on all the colors. At the same time, these birds usually stay away from people. So this was a rare moment. It was a quick moment of joy in a time of much stress.
We are enduring the third major event in our home this year. First a hot water leak in the slab, then a new roof due to wind damage, and now the AC has been out for a week. No big deal in a cool climate, but here it has been in the 90’s with 80% humidity. In addition, we have been under other stresses. So this bird was a messenger of beauty in an otherwise gray sky.
It is not that I expect God to give me life without trouble. Some Christians seem to feel that is God’s role. Yet Jesus never declared such. Read Radical by David Platt. Jesus sent the disciples out as sheep among wolves. Not good prospects for survival there. Jesus suffered. The early disciples suffered. Yet, American Christians expect God to keep the wolves of suffering away. If suffering falls on us, we feel God has let us down. Where in Jesus’ teaching are we promised a good life free from hardships? It’s a myth made up of our human desire for a good life.
So I’m not complaining to God about these stressful events. Instead I praise Him because He stays with me, even when I fail under the pressure. In these times I am learning to let God handle people and hardships. I have needs I cannot supply. I am pushed to the max financially and I cannot do any more. So I look to God to be my supply for whatever He desires for me. This day it was a bird to photograph. It was also a day when a friend gave us a used riding lawnmower. That was an answer to prayer as it will help cut the time for taking care of the lawn. Then today, God sent clouds and rain. I praise God. He knows how to paint beauty on a canvas of gray.

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