"Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit." ~ Psalm 51:12 (CSB)
Much of Colorado seems to be going through a season of renewal.
That is the nature of nature, after all.
The forest grows big and tall and lush and beautiful. As trees age, they fall and dry. When there are too many and the conditions are just so, our marvelous Creator designed the forest to renew itself.
Flames sweep through the dead tree fall and dry brush with an efficiency that is hard to believe.
What happens? Seed pods for trees that live long lives open in the flame and are planted in the nitrogen rich soil. The sun is able to reach the forest floor to nurture new growth (what an extraordinary metaphor for us.) And, the barren charred ashen landscapes explode in blossoms of thousands of flowers in a phenomenon known as a superbloom.
It all begins again.
With God the Father, we know there are times He refines us through fire.
With the Spirit, we often talk about being renewed.
And, He does promise to restore, to heal, and to bind up.
Did you know there are professionals who manage, conserve, and rehabilitate forests? Foresters monitor the state of the ecosystem, clear out excess dead trees, and plant new.
Granted it's a very human/man-centric approach to forest management, as opposed to the grand divinely designed cycle. But, I think it can also be seen as co-laboring and good stewardship.
With so much of my focus on wildfires this week, I've been taking an internal look to see if there is tree fall I need to clean up. We all have it. You know what I mean, those things in life that need to be cleared out, either inside of us or in the material world, to make way for new growth?
I find it peaceful to come before the Father and acknowledge what needs to be dealt with in my own life, and then pray He would give me wisdom, discernment, courage, and strength to clear out whatever does not serve Him.
Frankly, I'd much rather co-labor with Him in the forester process than find myself in the terrain of smoldering ash after God's solution to fixing my folly has swept through... because, believe me, I've been there too.
And, I do give thanks for almighty divine correction, painful as it may be, because I'd far prefer to be on His path than my own, even when that's what it takes to get my sometimes stubborn stiff-necked self there. :) And, thankfully, we have a sweet, sweet Father who gives us the gifts of superbloom and restoration.
THANK YOU Abba, Thank You, for helping us to co-labor with you in clearing out the dead trees of our lives. Thank You for planting in us new growth.
Thank you, for the mature trees of dreams and relationships and character and more, that withstand any fire. They may come out the other side of any fire a little worse for wear, but they are strong and steadfast and will survive and thrive beyond the storm. Such things are a gift from You. Thank You, thank You.
Thank You for helping us to receive the refining You do in our lives through "fire." Thank You for helping us to offer ourselves up to Your purification.
Thank You for being the Head Forrester of our lives.
We choose You. We trust You. We surrender.
Thank You Father, for Your strength and peace and guidance.
These things we pray in the most Holy name of Your Son.
"I will put this third through the fire; I will refine them as silver is refined and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: 'They are My people,' and they will say: 'Yahweh is our God.'" ~ Zechariah 13:9 (HCSB)
"If truly you have heard him and you have learned of him, as whatever is truth is in Yeshua. But you should put aside from you your first way of life, that old man, which is corrupted by deceitful desires, And you should be made new in the spirit of your minds. And you should put on the new man, who has been created by God in righteousness and in the purity of the truth." ~ Ephesians 4:21-24 (ABPE)
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJB)
"He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name." ~ Psalm 23:3 (BSB)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
(I tripped over this song moments after writing the above. I had never heard it before. What a glorious Godincidence. This a beautiful piece, and so very perfect.)