Less than a year ago, more than 30 acres of grass and bushes along our bicycling path were reduced to ashes. As I biked this morning, I couldn’t help but notice how things have changed. New vegetation has grown. Flowers are blooming.
After the fire, I remember feeling sad seeing the blackened landscaped dotted by what was left of the charcoaled branches.
Today, here is one thing I discovered. Even the burnt and the scorched land is powerless against an all-powerful God that commands rain from the sky and brings forth new life.
We have an amazing God. In the ashes of our pain and desperation, green new buds of life come sprouting up. Miracles happen. We soon find hope and strength in place of desperation and weakness.
Over the years, I have seen this happen many times. Gladness overshadows mourning. And on days like today, what was once deep sadness is now overwhelmed with joy and peace.
The reality is: Our lives can sometimes be messy. The bitterness of ashes may envelop us. We may stumble and trip over our hopes and dreams. What I’m discerning is when we fall into the very mess we hoped to avoid, we often find God’s goodness there. Being scorched with problems is not permanent.
Perhaps today you find yourself sitting in a heap of ashes, despairing. While our hopes and desires and plans for our lives are finite, an infinite God who loves us can take our lifeless bitter ashes and make something new and incredible. Was not our Lord in the grave, dead — for three days and three nights? Yet, He has risen and is now alive!
“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)
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