He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11
In 1988 793,880 acres of Yellowstone National Park was affected by fires. It cost 120 million dollars, and 10,000 people to fight the fires. Fire experts determined that the only hope of stopping the fires was rain or snow. On September 11th, one-quarter inch of snow fell, stopping the advance of fires.
I remember visiting Yellowstone as a child a few years after the devastating fires. The lasting effects were heartbreaking but what I remember the most was the life and beauty that grew in the midst of the ashes.
Lodgepole pines make up 80% of the park’s forest. One of the cones produced by these pines, is called serotinous. These types of cones will not release their seeds until the resin sealing them melts. This requires a temperature of 113°F. These majestic trees can grow to be 150 feet tall! It is amazing that something so beautiful can come from destruction.
If we allow him, God will do the same thing in our lives. He will heal broken hearts. He will use our past hurts to help others. He will restore relationships making them even more wonderful than they were before. Just like the lodgepole pines, sometimes it takes extreme heat before the beauty can be released.
In Isaiah 61:3, God promises that he “will bestow … a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” This may sound unbelievable, especially if you are walking through difficult circumstances right now. But, every one of God’s promises are true! No, he may not rescue you out of the ashes right away. No, he may not answer your prayers in the way that you think he should. Yes, you may have to walk through the fire. But he will absolutely keep every single one of his promises! He will make everything beautiful in its time!
Read these promises aloud each day:
He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He will stick closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
He will give me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
He will fight for me. (Exodus 14:14)
He will give me peace. (John 14:27)
He will always love me. (1 John 4:9-10, Ephesians 3:18)
And, if you trust him and allow him to work in the midst of your brokenness, you will have a front row seat to watch him bring beauty from ashes.
Dear Lord, even in the broken, dusty, dirty ashes, you are able to do miracles. I am trusting that you will bring beauty from ashes in my life and in the lives of those who are hurting around me. Thank you that all your promises are yes, and amen! In Jesus’ name, Amen.