I was amazed how many comments I had on a repeat post from three years ago. One thing remains true--there are many hurting and in pain all around us. As I thought this over, one thing immediately popped into my head. "Joy amidst the ashes." Joy can spring up in the most unexpected places, even in the midst of the ashes of broken dreams and lost expectations.
While hiking in the mountains, we have come across large areas which have been completely burned over by wildfires.
It truly is a devastating sight. Ashes, fallen trees, blackened logs, and void of seemingly any living thing, the landscape has turned from the beauty of the forest to the devastation of the fire. On the edge of the burn over, you see untouched forest, still growing, still vibrant, a beautiful lush forest-untouched by the tragedy.
Upon closer examination, you will notice there is new growth among the ashes. New life has sprung from the ashes of destruction. The beauty of God's creation continues once the forest has burned. The light is now able to reach the tiny seedlings and new growth begins. The once dense cover had prevented the small plants and trees from sprouting and growth since limited light filtered through to nourish the growth. New growth and new plants quickly begin to appear once the devastation is over and the forest of tomorrow begins the process of redeeming the loss of today.
Such a similarity with our lives. We can be in the midst of a burn--burned hopes, dreams, and plans--with nothing seeming to be touched anywhere around us. And then the "Light" shines upon us and the joy and hope of tomorrow begin to grow. Slowly the tender sprouts of a future take hold and the forest begins to grow once again. The forest will not be the same forest, but it can be a thing of great beauty--just as yesterday's forest. There is always the hope of joy among the ashes with God by our side. All we have to do is allow His Light to shine upon us --"Wash Our face, Trust God, And Embrace the Life We Have."
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”