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Notes from Ray
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" - Jesus (Matthew 6:26 NIV)
The day was August 22, one of the final days of our 2016 Iceland expedition. Brian and I had already declared the trip an adventure of a lifetime. In a matter of a week, we had burned through three different rental cars in the rugged Iceland terrain, and seen God move in immeasurable ways.
On this particular day, we found ourselves standing on the edge of a windy glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. We had both been taking photos of floating icebergs, when I mistakenly left my camera unattended without a stabilizing weight-hook.
In the blink of a moment, I turned around to hear a loud crash, as my camera lens landed face down in the cold, clear water. I quickly retrieved it, only to realize I had shattered my favorite 77mm Heliopan variable ND filter. Thankfully though, the filter saved my Nikon 24-70mm lens!
Realizing that it was probably a good time to wrap it up, I threw on one of my longer lenses, a Nikon 70-200mm in hopes that I might be able to capture one of the seals I kept seeing popping up through the ice. As we walked along the edge of the shore, I spotted a number of ducks swimming around a floating iceberg.
As I lifted my camera to take a picture, immediately, one of the ducks came up from the water and raised its wings. I was able to snap two frames; one as he began to open his wings, and the other, with his wings fully extended. Brian and I looked at each other like, “You’ve got to be kidding me. Did that just happen?”
Within seconds of taking the shot, I realized that the Lord had taken something broken and turned it into something majestic. Yes, I had shattered my ND filter, but had the filter not shattered, I would have never put on my longer lens and walked towards what He had in store for us to see. As usual, His ways are not our ways, and in that moment, I came to yet another realization of that truth (Isaiah 55:8).
When I think about the verse that I chose for this image (Matthew 6:26), I also consider the verse that directly follows: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” The answer is quite simply, “No.” If we walk in the opportunities He’s given us (despite our circumstances) to truly open up our eyes (Mark 8:18), we may just see His majesty in ways we were least expecting.