Happy August! Can you believe how quickly this summer is flying by? It’s been one of the best summers I’ve had in a long time! I will be sad to see it end and school begin. But, that is the cycle of life, isn’t it? There is always a beginning and an end, so make the best of what is in between! Thanks for joining me today…may you be inspired.
The dry, hot summer has brought news of many fires around the country, particularly here in California. The devastation they create is hard to watch, the homes lost, animals with nowhere to go. It’s hard not to wonder where the next one may pop up. A couple of weeks ago, I drove through the Cajon Pass here in Southern CA mere hours before a fire raged through, setting cars on fire, leaving people stranded as well as running for their lives. No lives were lost that day, and we can thank God for that. I was very thankful to have missed the whole experience!
The other day, my boyfriend took a picture of a sunset that was made more beautiful by the smoke of a fire. It was absolutely stunning. The words that came to my mind were, “Beauty from Ashes,” a song sung by Christian artist Crystal Lewis I have loved this song for years.
Here are just a few of the lyrics:
He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair
When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy over your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God knows your need
Just believe what He said
Yes, fire destroys. It leaves ugliness in its wake, but have you ever seen the new growth start, almost instantly, afterwards? I got to thinking about my own trials by fire. By far, the biggest fire was divorce…just six summers ago: my husband walked out. Within a week I learned there was another woman in the picture. He was also diagnosed with several personality disorders. My world went up in flames.
I know many of you can relate to having your world destroyed. At the time, it can feel as if the burns will never heal. Sometimes the barrenness remains for a long time. Other times we replay the fire so much in our heads, it keeps right on burning. But, we have a choice. The choice is to turn to the One who makes all things new in His time. His word says this in 1 Peter 1:7 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold, so when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
I do not believe that God purposely sends trials to us, but yet He uses the ones that come as a result of sin, whether our own or from others which is heaped upon us, to better us…IF we allow Him to.
I’ve spent time replaying the fires in my life, and I’ve also handed them over to God. I am here to tell you that the latter is by far the better choice. I’ve seen Him work in my heart and I am beginning to see the new growth. He can do it for you, too. You only have to choose.