•Out of The Ashes•
Not everything that burns is destroyed, and not all unfortunate circumstances end in tragedy. It is hard to remember this, however, in the face of so much frightening information coming at us from various media sources. We want to stay informed and make intelligent decisions for our own health and that of our families and communities, but even that is difficult to achieve when there is so much fear and panic going on around us. In fact, it’s hard to have peace of mind at all when it feels like our world is burning down around our ears. That’s the curious thing about fire, though. It’s not all bad.
Depending on who we are, the word ‘fire’ is usually a bad one because it’s usually associated with destruction. We must remember, however, that fire also purifies. With pressure and time, fire helps to produce precious jewels. From the fire of a refinery, the strongest steel and precious metals emerge for work, battle, and even decoration. From the purified ground, covered in the ashes of destruction, life struggles forth…fresh, green and beautiful. It rises up in spite of the ugliness and desolation. With fresh roots, it reaches for the sky on a brand new journey with the hope that one day, it will be exactly what it was made to be…whole and fruitful…from its roots to its branches.
The deepest lessons come out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires.Elisabeth Elliot
We are so much like the trees that force themselves through insurmountable obstacles. We are also designed to grow right where we are planted and thrive against the odds. No matter what it looks like, I want to encourage us all to remember that, even when it all burns down, We, the People, are meant to rise.
As we find ourselves in a time of uncertainty due to the threat of illness, economic downturn, loss of livelihood, or other negative repercussions of COVID-19, let us not be afraid of the fire. For all we know, it is divinely appointed to burn away fear, stress, and anxiety so we can refocus our priorities. We get to spend more time with our families and realign our minds and hearts with one another. Even better, we have been given a new opportunity to reconnect with God, to learn to trust Him more in our day-to-day operations and get to know ourselves through His eyes. This time has turned us back to the basics of living and loving, something so many of us have been in need of.
Now that we have set new rhythms to our lives, gained mega empathy for our children’s teachers, taken on new hobbies, started writing those books, baked all the goodies and fallen in love with our spouses again, what do we do when the social ban is lifted and our lives return to ‘normal’?
When we return to our regularly scheduled programs, let us not forget these blessings in the blur of the 9 to 5, but instead, use them to make more intentional decisions in our homes and fuel better relationships in our jobs and communities. Let’s not forget the basics…breathe, pray, listen, talk, write that book, play that game, read, and crack those jokes. Hold on to that new, healthy habit and leave the old, bad one behind. Keep living, loving and laughing for real!. Let this fire destroy what poisons us while it purifies what makes us truly beautiful as priceless human beings with invaluable purpose.