We have been in a drought. A drought of devastating proportions in South Texas this summer. Besides loss of crops, low water levels in lakes, dried up riverbeds and dead vegetation, wildfires have been rampant this summer. Especially in the last month or so.
There aren’t many stretches of interstate that you can drive down that don’t show some sign of a recent wildfire. From black, ashy medians and shoulders, to charred trees and buildings, the affects of the fires can be seen most anywhere.
But last week, it rained. Not just a drizzle or mist, but a good, heavy rain. And it rained a few times over the course of several days. The drought is nowhere near over, but signs of life are returning.
As I was making my daily commute on I-10 in the Hill Country this week, I noticed one stretch of charred land that caught my eye. Out of the blackness of the ashes left behind from a wildfire, beautiful bright green blades of grass were rising. Seemingly overnight, that charred stretch of land went from a grim reminder of the harshness of this drought, to a sign of life. A glimmer of hope that life will be restored to our landscape.
Just like those bright green blades of grass growing through the ashes in the landscape, God brings us out of the ashes. In the most devastating times of our lives, through the most devastating of circumstances, we rise. The ashes of our personal mistakes, our family tragedies, our wanderings, our losses – the places where it seems there’s just no life left at all. God rains down and out of those ashes He brings life. Out of those ashes comes hope, not just for us, but for those who see the life God is bringing. Out of those ashes comes faith. Faith that, even when all appears dead, God’s ability to restore life is greater. Out of those ashes comes life, abundant life.
The devastation of the ashes is only for a season. The rain will come. The ground will renew. God will restore life…out of the ashes. “Then the saying will come true: death swallowed by triumphant life.” 1 Corinthians 15:54 MSG