Yes, I am still here! Having been swamped at work and life, it’s taken some time, to pull around the time, to find the time, to write an article… Phew, that’s a mouth full! Yet, here we are, writing, and thinking about Jesus.
There shouldn’t be a day that goes by where Jesus isn’t in the mind’s eye. This radical man who came and was pivotal in shaping the history and future we have. This power of God that came to transform us into Children of God through the giving of Mercy and Grace. How awesome it is to know Him, and how awe-inspiring it is to meditate on his creation!
I have to admit, it took some coffee to get this started today. Yesterday I drove 7.5 hours from my home-town to where my sister lives to help move her belongings. Five hours after arriving, I drove back home… That’s a lot of driving in 24 hours.
In my drive, I passed directly underneath the Columbia Gorge wildfires on I84 West Bound on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. The smoke was heavy and in some areas it was at once eery, and stunning all at the same time.
Certain areas were similar to a winter’s evening where the snow is just starting to fall, with flakes in the air bringing the promise of fun times. Around other bends of the road, there was only aloneness, no other vehicles on the road, smoke so thick you didn’t see an overpass you went under until you went under it.
This picture is awful as I was doing 60mph and not supposed to be using my phone! Yet, when I came around this corner I was so stunned by the beauty of this tragedy I had to take the photo.
There were lighted signs every two to three miles declaring that you were unallowed to stop and park your vehicle so I snapped a few as I drove by. Two minutes after this picture I was driving right alongside the smoldering mountain.
In driving by, I began to ponder the awesomeness of God’s creation. Certainly this, like many others, is a tragedy of uncountable stories. Homes lost, sometimes lives lost, beautiful areas of recreation lost, and even natural habitats for wildlife lost. Businesses will suffer loss as evacuations flood away the monies of patrons.
Yet, in all of that loss, there is a rebirth. Almost a reset. The ashes of the fire will certainly mix with heated soils and overtime, buds of new plants, trees, and flowers will return. And as those return so will wild animals looking to resettle. Birds and the wind will spread seeds of life over barren lands.
Rains and reborn streams will move sediments and bring life. Thirsty animals will come to drink and bring their babies with them. Over time, homes will be rebuilt, businesses will spring up around areas of God’s creative beauty on display, giving rise to gift shops and the photography and paintings of the before and after.
It was driving by the fires when the words of Just Be Held by Casting Crowns popped into my mind;
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands
Most certainly, we see this very act in the trials and tribulations of our lives! In the fires of temptation, we have new life brought out of us. In the aftermath of a tragedy, there is a rallying strength that was unseen, dormant until it was needed.
In the brokenness of my hearth after my dear mother passed, flowers of understanding and love sprung up in me. Orchards of possibilities lined up in beautiful rows waiting for the harvester to come and collect the bountiful fruits awaiting.
Life has so many tragedies and setbacks, roadblocks, trials, and wildfires. Yet every single one of those has a rebirth purpose.
Jesus told us Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. How can I be reborn, except I die? How can a miracle take place, without a tragedy, or how can luck happen, without misfortune?
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. – Romans 8:28, AMP