I remember as a child the saw mill in my hometown burning. As the crow flies it was about a mile from my house~with a forest of trees between. The entire night sky was glowing orange, and the smell of smoke drifted through the woods for days. Entire trees and the remnants of other trees were burned that night--along with mountains of sawdust. The heat was so intense, the firefighters had a difficult time getting near the mill. I can only imagine the same scenerio--but MUCH larger in the middle of a city. Fire is a destructive force like no other found in nature.
The ashes had barely cooled before the city was vowing to reconstruct the iconic land mark to man's need for God. Hundred of millions of Euros have been pledged to rebuild this centuries old House of God. How telling to see that man quickly runs to the aid of rebuilding this historic House of Worship. I began to wonder where does this quick response originate from. Does man feel a need to recreate the tourist mecca of one of the continent's most important cities or is man seeking to honor God by the rebuilding of His House?
My first thought after seeing the report of the fire was God is not there. It would seem there has been a wholesale turning from God around the world. I was wrong--God is omnipresent--eternally. God is with us. We may turn our backs to Him, but He is still ever present. God is there and here and everywhere~God's presence permeates the darkest night. Nothing can keep Him away--fire, flood, earthquake---any disaster- God is ever present.
Good for the French for rebuilding this historic monument. God can use whatever the reason for His good and glory. Many have and will continue to visit to see the ancient treasures, the amazing art, the astounding architecture~the relics from the past. All who enter those hallowed doors will be amazed by what they see. AND you will still feel the presence of The Almighty--the quiet reverence will still swirl around you like a cloud of incense, you will be still and KNOW there is a God.
From the ashes--comes beauty. How telling this Holy Week. Did God allow this to happen at this particular time was a poignant reminder of the beauty which rose from the ugliness of death, this very week? I choose to believe He is at work---He is calling us back---He wants to raise us from the ashes of the mess we have made of our lives. He wants to rebuild the beauty He originally intended. From the ashes~~~can come great beauty and new life.
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer
and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.