Sunday I went on a hike in the Malibu Canyon where the Woolsey Fire ravaged the land destroying homes and charing nearly 100,000 acres of some of the world’s most beautiful landscape last November.
This fire hit particularly close to “home” as it destroyed part of my daughter-in-law to be’s back yard and would have taken her home had it not been for her brother and the fire fighters who fiercely fought for their home.
As we hiked we could see blackened soil where the heat and flames left only ashes; we could see the concrete slabs where homes stood just months before; we recognized the remains of a swimming pool, a barbecue and some mangled lawn furniture left as a reminder of the homes and the lives who lived there. The devastation was total and complete for most of the landscape and homes that had succumbed to the fire, ashes were all that remained.
And now, just a few short months later, the land was singing with hope and the promise of new life. The recovery of the landscape was lush, quick and intense, it was remarkable really.
At one point during the hike all I could smell was the soft sweet fragrance of the blooming shrubs around me. We had to look deep to see the black ashen dirt, that lay beneath the lush growth that had taken place in just a few short months. There were many and varied flowers blooming, some of them had grown taller than me.
It’s awe inspiring to see nature responded without hesitation to the promises of God. He promises to bring beauty from ashes, and the hills were evidence that he plans to keep his promises.
Unlike us, the hills didn’t skip a beat in claiming the promise of new life after devastation and destruction. Even most of the evergreens that looked blackened and dead a few months ago, were springing forth with new growth in the brightest color of green imaginable as if to scream to the universe we will burst forth with life, we will not be moved, we will claim and live the promise of God to bloom from the ashes.
While it is amazing to see nature spring boldly into life and bloom and claim the promises of God; how much more does he promise it for your life and mine!
No matter how devastating the circumstances in our lives, God created us to live and to bloom again and again, often much bigger and more beautiful than before. He promises to bring beauty from our ashes, I believe He wants to do it quickly, intensely and more lush than before, just like He does in nature. He promises a hope and a future. Will you be like nature and live into his promise quickly or will you wait and continue to live in the ashes?
Just when I thought something was dead and gone in my own life I’ve watched God spring forth new life and blooms. When I thought my marriage was dead (I mean we were separated for 15 months, so it really did look dead), God breathed new life into it and miraculously I have the marriage I dreamed about. When I thought depression would steal my life, he gave me new life and a new way to see things. When you change the things in your mind you change the things outside of your mind. It just works that way.
Our brains work just like everything else in nature when we stop feeding the negative thought patterns the old neuro pathways die off and new life is formed with new thoughts, patterns and habits. It’s not much different from the pattern of this fire….death to the old and in sweeps beauty from ashes.
He promises to make us a new creation, not just rearranged but completely new, nature proves to us what we always hope. While the fire stole life, it left behind seeds of of hope and of a beautiful future. How much more does he have planned for you? No matter what your circumstances his heart for you is that you would bloom in all of your glory and bless yourself, God and others!
Will you proclaim his promises quickly like nature or will you wait and continue to live in the ashes? The beauty of these promises is you get to choose, we are co-creators in this one life of ours!
If you’re ready to live your best life now, and you’re ready to take massive action, I’d love to work with you!
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Laney Houser, MAPS, MA, CLC, CHC firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a transformational life coach and my passion is to change lives by teaching people how to use depression and anxiety as a springboard for living their best life now. I am a professional counselor, pastor, certified life coach and certified health coach. I love helping people experience more of God by learning how to live in the joy, abundance, love and creativity that comes with being fully alive.